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ISRAEL-RUNNER BARRED
Israel prevents Olympic runner from leaving Gaza to participate in West Bank marathon

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 5:18 AM EDT
JERUSALEM


Israel's high court has upheld a decision by the military to prevent a Gaza Olympian from leaving the coastal strip to participate in a marathon in the West Bank.

Israel has severely restricted the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza since the Islamic militant Hamas took control there in 2007. The closure policy is also enforced by Gaza's neighbor Egypt.

Tuesday's ruling ends hopes of 34-year-old Nader Masri to participate in Friday's marathon in biblical Bethlehem.

Masri, who participated in the 2008 Olympics, says he is disappointed because he hoped to compete against runners outside Gaza.

Israel says only humanitarian hardship cases are allowed to leave Gaza.

The judges say they cannot interfere in the military's decisions but that it should consider easing the travel ban.










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