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Israel prevents 103 Gazans from participating in Palestine Marathon

Israeli authorities prohibited 103 runners from leaving the Gaza Strip today to take part in the Right to Movement Palestine Marathon tomorrow.

Nader Halawa, president of the Federation in the Gaza Strip, told the Anadolu Agency that the Israeli authorities refused to allow the runners, including 19 females, to travel to Bethlehem, in the southern part of the West Bank.

Halawa added that all of the attempts made by the Palestine Football Association and human rights organisations to convince Israeli authorities to allow the participants to join the marathon were unsuccessful. He described the decision as "unfair". Halawa called for the intervention of international sports organisations in order to stop "Israel's violations against Palestinian sports."

Palestinians require advanced approval from Israeli authorities in order to travel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

The annual Palestine Marathon is held in Bethlehem. Thousands of runners participate in the event, including nearly 1,000 foreigners.

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