A group from Derry travelled to Palestine two weeks ago to take part in their annual marathon.
Staying in Bethlehem they also spent a number of days touring other areas close by, witnessing the apartheid close up.
Daisy Mules, one of the local participants who took part in the 10km walk, said, “One of the Derry group, Mark Mullan, came 4th in the half marathon, while Ryan Moore, came 7th in the full marathon - with over 3,500 participants this is a great result.
“Last year, ten Palestinians took part in the Derry marathon and this was a chance for those of us who actively campaign for Palestinians locally, to take part in a movement that is extremely important.
“Palestinians essentially live under occupation, with ethnic cleansing happening regularly. To see those issues first hand was eye-opening. We took part in a peaceful protest on Land Day, with a group from the Dhesheh refugee camp who were also protesting about their sons who has been imprisoned by the Israeli forces; died in custody and whose bodies will not be returned until their sentence is served.
“As we approached an Israeli checkpoint tear gas was thrown at us and live rounds threatened. I couldn’t finish the protest walk as my eyes were stinging and I was coughing a lot.
“This is normal for Palestinians living on the West Bank - and their voices need to be heard.”
Closer to home Daisy is an active member of a number of groups supporting Palestine and boycotting against the regime many Palestinains live under.
“It’s a case of, ‘What else can I do?’, so I actively take part in the BDS Movement.”