According to The Associated Press, UNWRA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) has canceled the marathon in Gaza following a ban on women runners imposed by the territory's militant Islamic Hamas rulers.
UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced earlier today (March 5) that plans for the April race have been scrapped.
A statement from agency says that "this disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate" in the marathon.
COMMENT: Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when it ousted its rival Fatah movement in street battles in the coastal strip.
The group is cracking down on behavior it deems contrary to Islam and has already banned women from riding on the backs of motorbikes, smoking water pipes, and men from working in hair salons.
Sadly, Hamas in its effort to enforce sharia law in the Gaza Strip is becoming nothing more than a control surrogate that amounts to nothing more than the Talibanization in Gaza.
We applaud UNWRA for its not caving into Hamas and canceling the marathon.