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Israel upholds travel ban for Gaza Olympian

Palestinian Olympian Nader Masri prevented from leaving coastal strip to participate in marathon in West Bank.

Last updated: 08 Apr 2014 10:42
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Masri was one of many Gazans denied permission to travel to take part in the West Bank marathon [Reuters]

Israel's high court has upheld a decision by the military to prevent a Gaza Olympian from leaving the coastal strip to participate in a marathon in the West Bank, another Palestinian territory.

Tuesday's ruling ends hopes of 34-year-old Nader Masri to participate in Friday's marathon in Bethlehem.

Masri, who participated in the 2008 Olympics, says he is disappointed because he hoped to compete against runners outside Gaza.

Israel has severely restricted the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza since Hamas took control over the Palestinian territory in 2007. 

The restrictions are also enforced by Gaza's neighbour Egypt.

Israel says only humanitarian hardship cases are allowed to leave Gaza.

The judges say they cannot interfere in the military's decisions but that it should consider easing the travel ban.

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