Tags: Israel | Palestinians | settler | running

Over 2,000 Run Across W.Bank in First Bible Marathon

Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 06:53 AM

Around 2,200 Israelis took part early Thursday in a first "Bible Marathon" which cut through the occupied West Bank under tight security and ended at an ancient biblical site.

The race, organized by a Jewish settler body in the northern West Bank, took place a day after a Palestinian stabbed two Israeli soldiers before being shot dead at a location not far from the finish line.

The route runs from Rosh HaAyin inside Israel then goes eastward through the West Bank to end at the ancient biblical site of Tel Shilo, just outside the Jewish settlement of the same name.

Many roads in the area were shut down for the race which included a full 42.2-kilometer (26.1-mile) marathon, a half marathon, a 15-kilometre route and a 5km run.

Shahar Tzadok, one of the organizers, told AFP almost all of the runners were Israelis, with only a handful of foreigners taking part.

He was unable to say how many of them were settlers, but religious Jews were also among the runners.

The largely-uphill race began at 5:30 am and passed Ariel, one of the largest settlements in the West Bank, with organizers saying it went off peacefully.

The route is based on a number of verses in the biblical book of 1 Samuel 4 when Israel was defeated by the Philistines in a major battle during which the Ark of the Covenant was seized.

News of the defeat was carried by a man from the tribe of Benjamin who ran from the battlefield at Even Ezer (by modern-day Rosh HaAyin) all the way to Shilo to tell the prophet Samuel.

Organizers say the distance was exactly 42 kilometers, describing it as the first-ever marathon.

Israel seized the West Bank along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War and today there are close to 400,000 Israelis living there in more than 130 settlements.

Jewish settlements built on land the Palestinians want for a future state are considered illegal under international law and Israel's ongoing settlement construction has been a major stumbling block to decades of peace efforts.

© AFP 2017

   
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MiddleEast
Around 2,200 Israelis took part early Thursday in a first "Bible Marathon" which cut through the occupied West Bank under tight security and ended at an ancient biblical site.
Israel, Palestinians, settler, running
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2015-53-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 06:53 AM
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