Under the banner of “Right to Movement”, 500 Palestinian and international athletes completed in the inaugural Palestine Marathon through the streets of Bethlehem, April 22, 2013. Article 13 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right of freedom movement and residence within the border of each state.” Here, runners pass the Israeli separation wall on Hebron Road, once the main road from Jerusalem in the north through Bethlehem to Hebron in the south, now blocked by the wall surrounding Rachel’s Tomb and an Israeli military base .(Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler)
Palestine Marathon Holds Message to the World : Some of the participants were wearing T-shirts commemorating the victims of the Boston marathon bombing, others wearing clothing branded with the event’s slogan: “Right to Movement.”
In an atmosphere of joy and happiness, the issue of prisoners was not forgotten, as banners were raised for the Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Samer al-Issawi.
It’s worth mentioning that due to the challenge of finding a continuous 42.2km full marathon course, the marathon was a two-loop course. The 26 competitors who ran the full race were required to make two loops of the city along a course that passed through two refugee camps, alongside the Israeli separation wall, turned back on itself at a checkpoint and finished back at the Church of the Nativity.