Marathon for Prisoners: Palestinian Runners Compete in Gaza
By the Palestine Chronicle Staff
A marathon was held in Gaza on Friday in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and their families.
The Gaza Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners in Gaza held the marathon in the besieged Strip as a show of support and to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle of Palestinian prisoners.
Under the title Wafaa Al-Ahrar – Loyalty to the Citizens – the marathon was organized jointly with the High Council for Youth and Sports, the Prisoners’ Information Office, the Sheikh Ahmed Yassin Foundation, and the Prisoners’ Committee.
Starting at the Al-Baidar area, located in Al-Rasheed Street in Gaza, the procession ended at the Gaza port, where the final ceremony was also held.
The Undersecretary of the Prisons Ministry, Bahaa Al-Madhoun, said that the Palestinian prisoners are under the brutality of the Israeli occupation and that the Palestinian people will always stand in solidarity with the thousands of Palestinian prisoners and their families.
Currently, there are 4,780 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. According to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, they include 29 women, 160 children and 915 administrative detainees.
At the ceremony, the Prisoner Information Office announced the winner of the Wafaa Al-Ahrar Marathon, Mahmoud Abu Sbeitan from the city of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
Despite the small size of Gaza and the 16-year Israeli siege, long-distance running has become very popular in the Strip in recent years, with several international marathoners coming from the Gaza Strip.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)