First Posted: 3/5/2013
(AP) A U.N. aid agency has canceled the marathon in Gaza following a ban on women runners imposed by the territory’s militant Islamic Hamas rulers.
UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced on Tuesday that plans for the April race have been scrapped.
A statement from agency says that this disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate in the marathon.
Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007 when it ousted its rival Fatah movement in street battles in the coastal strip.
The group is cracking down on behavior it deems contrary to Islam and has already banned women from riding on the backs of motorbikes, smoking water pipes, and men from working in hair salons.