Gaza marathon cancelled over Hamas ban on women

The UN Relief and Works Agency has called off the Gaza marathon because the Hamas authorities have refused to allow women to join the race.

The third Gaza marathon was due to take place next month, but will not go ahead because "the authorities in Gaza… have insisted that no women should participate".

Ina statement, the UN agency described the decision as "disappointing" but said an alternative programme of events would be arrange for those who had already made plans to come to Gaza for the marathon.

"UNRWA sincerely regrets the inconvenience this causes those who planned to participate in the marathon," said the statement.

The agency, which is tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees, receives funding from the British government.

Last updated: 10:22am, March 5 2013