Israel bars Palestinian Olympian from leaving Gaza

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Inbar said the Bethlehem marathon sponsored by the Palestinian Authority “has political overtones,” but did not elaborate. He initially said that others who applied for permits were support staff, but then said he needed to check that information.

Eitan Diamond, the head of Gisha, said underlying Israel’s policy is an attempt to “create a divide between the West Bank and Gaza, to remove Gaza from the consciousness of the Israeli public, to push Gaza away.”

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in 1967. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but continues to control access by air, land and sea.

Much of the international community considers the lands captured in 1967 as a single territorial unit, in contrast to Israel’s claim that Gaza is no longer occupied.

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Associated Press writers Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed to this report from the West Bank.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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