Occupied East Jerusalem closed due to Jerusalem’s marathon


The Israeli authorities early Friday shut down streets in occupied East Jerusalem and detained four Palestinians in preparation for the annual Jerusalem marathon, locals said.

A number of roads were blocked by iron barricades and buses, as thousands of runners joined in the marathon for the sixth year in a row.  Streets began to reopen shortly before noon.

Four Palestinian residents of al-Issawiya neighborhood were detained by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) prior to the marathon. Two of them, identified by locals as Fadi Matwar and Jad al-Ghoul, were reportedly warned against being in Jerusalem during the marathon.

According to the Jerusalem city spokeswoman Brachie Sprung, about 25,000 Israeli athletes and a record of 2,500 foreign visitors took part in the marathon.

A Kenyan runner, Kipkosgei Shadrack, 25, finished the race with a time of 2:16:33.

Jerusalem’s marathon comes weeks before the Right to Movement marathon, which is expected to be held in Bethlehem.

This year will mark the fourth consecutive “Right to Movement” marathon, which is comprised of two 11 kilometer loops as race organizers were unable to find a contiguous stretch of 42 kilometers due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement.