Israeli authorities, early Friday, shut down the streets of annexed East Jerusalem and detained four Palestinians, in preparation for the annual Jerusalem marathon, locals said.A number of roads were blocked by iron barricades and buses, as thousands of runners joined in the marathon for the sixth year in a row. Streets began to reopen shortly before noon, PNN reports.
Four Palestinian residents of the al-Eesawiyya neighborhood were detained by Israeli forces, just prior to the marathon. Two of them, identified by locals as Fadi Matwar and Jad al-Ghoul, were reportedly warned against being in Jerusalem during the marathon.
According to Jerusalem city spokeswoman Brachie Sprung, about 25,000 Israeli athletes and a record of 2,500 foreign visitors took part in the marathon.
Kenyan runner Kipkosgei Shadrack, aged 25, finished the race with a time of 2:16:33.
Jerusalem’s marathon comes just weeks before the Right to Movement marathon, which is expected to be held in Bethlehem.
This year will mark the fourth consecutive “Right to Movement” marathon, which is comprised of two 11 kilometer loops as race organizers were unable to find a contiguous stretch of 42 kilometers, due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement.