A U.N aid agency canceled the Gaza marathon on Tuesday after the Palestinian territory’s militant Hamas rulers banned women from participating in the annual sporting event.
UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that plans for the race next month have been scrapped because of the Hamas demand that women be barred.
"We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together," Abdessalam Siyyam, a Hamas government official, told Agence France-Presse.
"We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place." (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)