Jewish Journal

Gaza runner barred by Israel from Bethlehem marathon


Posted on Apr. 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a decision by the IDF to bar a Palestinian runner from Gaza from participating in a marathon in Bethlehem.

In the case of Nader Masri, a 2008 Olympian, the court ruled April 8 that it could not overrule a military decision. But the court also recommended that Israel consider allowing Masri to leave Gaza to participate in the April 11 race.

“It is hoped, of course, that in the future the security situation will improve that will allow an easing of such restrictions,” Judge Daphne Barak-Erez wrote in her decision.

Masri, 34, was rejected in his petition to Israel’s military seeking permission to travel to the West Bank for the second Bethlehem marathon. He turned to Israel’s high court through the Israeli human rights group Gisha — Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.

Masri represented Palestine in the Beijing Olympics and has represented the Palestinian Authority in several international competitions. 

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