Haredi men detained allegedly en route to disrupt Jerusalem Marathon


(JTA) — Israeli police detained dozens of haredi Orthodox bus passengers who allegedly were bound for Jerusalem to disrupt the city’s annual marathon, which featured Shadrack Kipkosgei of Kenya repeating his victory of last year and a marriage proposal at the finish line.

The buses of haredim were intercepted Friday morning between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Army Radio reported.

Police learned about the buses from a young man they arrested Thursday, the report said. He provided precise information on the plans of Litvak fundamentalists to disrupt the event, which they regard as inappropriate in the holy city of Jerusalem.

The recent arrest of a haredi man accused of deserting the army reportedly triggered the alleged plan.

Kipkosgei, 26, completed the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds — about a minute slower than his winning time in the 2016 marathon. He was among some 30,000 runners, with more than 3,500 coming from 65 countries, competing in a variety of distances.

Approximately 2,000 runners ran the full marathon, with another 6,000 competing in the half-marathon, more than 10,000 in the 10K and the remaining participants taking part in the family and community races, according to The Times of Israel.

At the finish line, one sweaty participant proposed to his fiancee, who ran alongside him, as bystanders cheered, Israel Hayom reported. The daily’s online edition did not name the couple but added that Mayor Nir Barkat, a jogging enthusiast who attends the Jerusalem Marathon regularly, was the first to congratulate the couple.

Among the participants this year were dozens of victims of terrorist attacks, who attended the race as a group sponsored by the OneFamily organization supporting terror victims and their families.

Hadas Mizrahi, the widow of Baruch Mizrahi of Modiin, who was killed in a shooting incident nearly two years ago, was among the OneFamily runners, along with Renana Meir, whose mother, Dafna, was murdered last year in the West Bank settlement of Otniel.

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