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Marathon in occupied West Bank highlights Israeli military checkpoints

Runners take part in the 5th Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem, West Bank, March 31, 2017. ( Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency )
Runners take part in the 5th Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem, West Bank, March 31, 2017. ( Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency )

The Second Palestinian Festival for Arts and Culture launched a marathon on Friday sending athletes “From Checkpoint to Another Checkpoint” to highlight the hundreds of Israeli barriers dividing the occupied West Bank into small cantons, Quds Press has reported.

#LandAppropriation

The route took runners 11 kilometres between an Israeli military checkpoint in the west of Nablus to another one in the east.

This activity reiterates the Palestinian rejection of the Israeli checkpoints which divide the West Bank and degrade the life of the Palestinians,

explained festival director Hakim Sabbah.

The marathon highlights the suffering of the Palestinian people as a direct result of the military checkpoints.

He accepted that the race of 11 kilometres is much shorter than the usual marathon distance of 42 kilometres. “We do not have such a long distance free of checkpoints,” he pointed out. “The runners took the longest distance between two of them.” The Israeli army, he added, prohibits anyone from running through checkpoints unhindered.

According to Sabbah, the run will be organised on an annual basis to highlight the issue of the Israeli checkpoints. “It will continue until the Israeli occupation removes all the checkpoints,” he insisted.

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