beit hanun

BEIT HANUN : Palestinian youths practice their Parkour skills past a mural said to have been painted by British street artist Banksy, on the remains of a house that was destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014, in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun on March 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED                        

BEIT HANUN : Palestinian children play with a toy gun on May 27 2015 in front of bulldings that were destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014, in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun. The Israeli air force carried out four strikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip early today, eyewitnesses said, hours after a cross-border rocket attack on the Jewish state. The planes targeted training camps belonging to militant group Islamic Jihad in Rafah, Khan Yunis and Gaza City, the witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.  AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED                        

BEIT HANUN : A Palestinian child stands next to a mural of a kitten, said to have been painted by British street artist Banksy, on the remains of a house that was destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014, in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun on February 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED                        

Thousands compete in Gaza marathon despite cold weather

Thousands of runners have taken part in the Gaza Strip’s second-ever marathon, which covered the whole length of the Palestinian territory.

Palestinian runner Nader al-Masri won for the second time in a row, beating competitors from around the world.

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Other participants - mostly schoolchildren - ran shorter portions of the 42km (26 mile) route.

The competitors braved cold weather and strong winds, which whipped up sand from the beaches.

“I’m very happy,” Mr Masri told the AFP news agency after finishing the race from Beit Hanun to Rafah.

“I think we have sent a message that we hope will reach the world. It’s a step towards making the world aware of the tragedy of the Palestinian people,” he added.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa), which organised the event, said it aimed to highlight the ongoing “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

The agency has repeatedly criticised Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run territory.

Israel says the measure is necessary to prevent Hamas militants from obtaining weapons and funds.

BEIT HANUN : A Palestinian boy walks past destroyed buildings as he brings food to his family on March 11, 2015 in Beit Hanun in the northern of Gaza Strip. Qatar on March 11, 2015 launched a project to build 1,000 homes in the Gaza Strip to house Palestinians displaced by last summer’s war between Hamas and Israel.    AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED                        

BEIT HANUN : Palestinian Khitam Moussa sits on a chair outside an apartment building on August 14, 2014 in Beit Hanun, northern Gaza Strip, which was heavily damaged by fighting between Israel and Hamas in about four weeks of fighting. When asked about the current ceasefire she responded, “We want security and peace for everyone. What do we want? We want a dignified way of living, a dignified life. The Palestinian people have been humiliated. I ask you how many martyrs have been lost? how many women, children, how many young people, old men, sheikhs?,” Israel and Gaza militants were holding their fire today morning after a new truce got off to a shaky start, with night-time Palestinian rocket fire followed by Israeli air strikes. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT

BEIT HANUN : A Palestinian rides a cart amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip during an humanitarian truce, on July 26, 2014. The bodies of at least another 35 Palestinians were recovered from rubble across Gaza during a truce, raising to over 900 the overall death toll of Israel’s onslaught on the territory since July 8, medics said. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI