The Gaza Marathon was scheduled to take place on April 10th, but a decision by Hamas to ban women from participating on religious grounds has led to its cancellation. 370 of the 2,400 expected runners were women, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the organizer of the event, is currently exploring alternatives for its runners.
Here’s the UNRWA’s statement on the cancellation:
“We regret to announce that the UNRWA Gaza Marathon, due to be held on 10 April 2013, has been cancelled following a decision by the authorities in Gaza not to allow women to participate.
Registered Marathon participants who still wish to come to Gaza are welcome; UNRWA is working on an alternative programme of events which will be forwarded to those interested as soon as possible.
UNRWA is disappointed with this decision, and sincerely regrets the inconvenience this may cause to those who planned to participate in the marathon.
UNRWA is extremely grateful for the overwhelming public interest in the Marathon, and the depth of support for the children of Gaza.”