The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has stated that it has cancelled the Gaza marathon due to Hamas' policy of disallowing females to participate.
The marathon, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, was due to be the Palestinian territories third. Hamas insists that it could very well go ahead provided that "local traditions" be respected, hence females disallowed from participating due to their gender.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which organized this event announced that it decided upon this stance following "discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate." (Irish Independent, March 5 2013)
The cabinet secretary of the ruling Hamas regime, a man named Abdessalam Siyyam, stated that his organization regrets "this decision to cancel the marathon" unequivocally adding, "but we don't want men and women running together." He stressed that Hamas did not tell UNRWA to cancel the marathon adding that the organization simply "laid down some conditions. We don't want women and men mixing in the same place." (BBC News, March 5 2013)
The narrow sliver of territory that constitutes the political polity of the Palestinian Gaza Strip is the exact length of the marathon from its top to its bottom.