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Palestinians hold first marathon

Palestinians and their supporters are running the West Bank's first marathon.

Itidal Abdul-Ghani, of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, said some 1,000 people are participating in Sunday's race - which includes shorter 10km and 20km options.

The marathon, taking place in cool, rainy weather, loops four times around Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

Mr Abdul-Ghani says that because of Israel's separation barrier surrounding parts of the city, and its control over nearby land, there is not enough space to do a straight 26.2 mile run.

Israel says the barrier is needed to keep out attackers. Palestinians say it is a land grab.

The marathon comes six days after the Boston Marathon bombings and coincides with the London Marathon.

Some runners wore shirts honouring the Boston Marathon victims.


From Belfast Telegraph