Over 2,500 athletes took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon around the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Nader Al-Masri, an Olympian, was not one of them.

Masri, who has participated in 40 international contests including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was denied a permit by Israeli authorities to travel to the occupied West Bank for the Palestine Marathon on Friday.

The panel of judges who rejected the appeal, though, highlighted that Israel’s regulations allow Palestinian footballers and some other athletes to leave the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

The judges urged the Israeli authorities to apply the same rule to more athletes.

"Honestly, I'm very sad because I couldn't take part in this race," Al-Masri told Al Jazeera.

"I want everyone to know that I've represented Palestin in over 50 events and I don't know why the Israelis refused to allow me to take part. So many foreigners and Arabs are taking part in it."

The athlete joins Al Jazeera from Gaza City to share his views...

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies