x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gaza marathon cancelled by UN agency over Hamas ban on women runners

UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organises the event, announced today that plans for the April race have been scrapped.

JERUSALEM // A United Nations aid agency has cancelled the marathon in Gaza following a ban on women runners imposed by the territory's Hamas rulers.

UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organises the event, announced today that plans for the April race have been scrapped.

A statement from agency said that "this disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate" in the marathon.

Hamas is cracking down on behaviour it deems contrary to Islam and has already banned women from riding on the backs of motorbikes, smoking shisha, and men from working in hair salons.