HCJ petition: Allow a Gaza runner to participate in the Palestine marathon in Bethlehem

April 3, 2014. Gisha petitioned (Hebrew) the High Court today on behalf of Nader Masri, a Palestinian runner from the Gaza Strip, whose request to exit Gaza in order to participate in the second Palestine marathon in Bethlehem was denied by the military.

Masri is a top Palestinian athlete and has represented the Palestinian Authority (PA) in many international competitions, including in Ireland, Portugal, Belgium and Doha. He was the only athlete to represent Palestine at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which he traveled to via Israeli territory.

Masri has traveled through Israel in order to compete abroad in the past and no security allegations have ever been made against him. The reason cited for refusing his current request was that it fails to meet the criteria for travel between Gaza and the West Bank. The criteria, however, explicitly allow travel for PA-sponsored conferences and events.