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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)

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)

Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Some youths, aged between 12 and 23 years old, in Gaza are training in parkour which was developed in France. Parkour is a physical discipline of movement focused on overcoming obstacles. Training is held in cemeteries, and in former Israeli settlements.

Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Some youths, aged between 12 and 23 years old, in Gaza are training in parkour which was developed in France. Parkour is a physical discipline of movement focused on overcoming obstacles. Training is held in cemeteries, and in former Israeli settlements.

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra walks past a mural in Gaza City. The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza’s Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics. Photo: REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra walks past a mural in Gaza City. The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza’s Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics. Photo: REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem