World Bulletin / News Desk
The second Palestine International Marathon kicked off on Friday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, with the participation of thousands of Palestinian and foreign runners.
Held under the slogan of the 'right to movement'," the marathon celebrates the Palestinian Sports Day and promotes the cause of thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisoners.
"Around 3500 runners are participating in today's marathon," Jawad Awadallah, spokesman for the marathon, told Anadolu Agency.
"There are 700 runners from Latin America and the European Union participating in the event," he added.
Sponsored by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Sports Union, the marathon includes three milestones, with the longest being 42.195km.
Awadallah said that Israeli authorities, which have blockaded the Gaza Strip for eight years - prevented the passage of 30 runners from the Strip – including international runner Nader al-Masri – who wished to participate in Friday's marathon.
Palestinian security forces stepped up their presence along the marathon's itinerary since early Friday morning.
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