Run Palestine 2023 — Essential Information

Nothing happens until something moves.
Albert Einstein

Run Palestine 2023
Saturday 4th March to Saturday 11th March including the Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem on Friday 10th March

Thank you for your interest in joining this trip. Please read all the information below carefully.
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The Booking Process

Please follow these steps to confirm your place:

1. Fully complete and submit the trip booking form:

  • each participant needs to complete a form,
  • you will be asked to confirm you have read and understood the essential information given below during form completion.

2. Once you have submitted your booking form, you will receive an email from us confirming we have your information. This email will include two links:

  • the first to pay a deposit of £300,
  • the second to our Code of Conduct form, which every applicant must accept before we can confirm your place on the trip.

If you do not receive this email soon after completing the trip booking form, please check your email spam/junk folder.

3. Once you have completed your booking form, paid your deposit, and filled in the Code of Conduct form, we will automatically add you to the list of trip participants.

4. We will send you an invoice for your balance of payment for the trip, which will take into account if you have requested a single room, and any variance from the standard trip itinerary, that we have agreed with you.

5. We may contact you for further clarification in response to the information you give on your booking form.
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The Run

The Palestine Marathon first took place in 2013 and has grown into a wonderful community event. Amos has taken a team of runners to take part every year. 

The Organiser
The Palestine Olympic Committee (POC) has organised the Marathon in Bethlehem.

Why run in Bethlehem?
Amos Trust has been taking people to Palestine for more than 20 years, and we have fantastic local partner organisations and friends in and around Bethlehem we would love you to meet. We also love to run! So we are fully supportive of the aims of the Palestine Marathon.

In 2017, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) approved the Palestine Marathon as an international marathon. In 2018, it was recognised by the Association for International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). Its route extends over 42.195 kilometres and offers runners different outlooks on Palestinian everyday life. 

Its course includes a few steep hills and sections that allow fast running while leading through unique scenery, unlike any other marathon. Starting at the Church of the Nativity, in the centre of Bethlehem’sBethlehem’s Old City, the route takes runners through the town, two refugee camps (Aida and Dheisheh), and along the Apartheid Wall. Because its distance does not cover the required 42 kilometres, runners run two loops to complete a full marathon according to international standards.

The Palestine Marathon evolved rapidly. The total number of participants has increased in seven years from 400 to over 8,000. In addition, the percentage of female runners has increased from 37 per cent to almost 50 per cent (which is significant because the denial of free movement is a feature of gender inequality in Palestinian society and hinders efforts to ensure respect for women’s rights). The number of foreign runners has increased from 220 to 1,700, helping Palestinian efforts to tell their story and raise international awareness of their situation.

The Marathon cannot help but show how the Israeli occupation prevents Palestinian freedom of movement, a universally recognised human right. According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all people should be able to move around and reside anywhere within their country.

By running the Marathon, each participant asserts this right and highlights that the freedom of movement of Palestinian women, men, girls, and boys continues to be severely restricted under Israel’sIsrael’s prolonged military occupation. 

The route and fitness
If you have run a marathon before and are looking for something quite challenging, the Bethlehem Marathon is the one for you. However, we would encourage those who have not run a marathon before to consider doing the half marathon or the 10km rather than the full as the route and conditions are not very ‘first-timer friendly’. Please indicate which distance you want to run on the online application form.

The course is 21.0975 km long (the classic half marathon), which is why the runners doing the full Marathon will run two loops. The route will take you through different views of Palestinian everyday life. The route is a technical course with a few steep hills and some fast sections in scenery like no other marathon. 

The race starts in Manger Square, at the Church of Nativity in the centre of the old city of Bethlehem. After that, you will run through Bethlehem, through Al Aida refugee camp and along the Separation Wall, separating Palestinians from their land and each other and preventing the fundamental human right to freedom of movement. 

The loop route means you run the same stretch four times, which can be psychologically challenging. In some places, the roads are dusty and stony rather than smooth tarmac. Water stations and toilets will be staffed along the way by encouraging local Scouts.

We are looking for those with a good fitness level and would recommend getting training support from a running club or trainer to prepare.

What should I wear for the run?
Bethlehem is a mixed-religious city, and all runners should do their best to respect local customs and norms. Men should wear shorts and a t-shirt or tank top. We suggest running leggings (maybe a pair of shorts on top) or loose pants below the knee for female runners. Wear a loose top — preferably with sleeves. Please note that Amos Trust will provide both men and women with a technical running T-Shirt.

What about the weather?
Spring in Palestine is changeable. Past marathons have taken place in a rainy 12 degrees to a sunny 30-degree scorcher. So basically, you need to be prepared for anything, although we’re pretty sure it won’t snow!
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The Trip

Whilst the trip is centred around participation in the Marathon, you will also have the opportunity in the few days before the run to explore Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas.

You will have the chance to see the situation on the ground and learn directly from those who live in situations of occupation and injustice every day. But, more importantly, you will have the chance to meet and talk to some of our inspirational local partner organisations and friends and hear about their extraordinary work in creative resistance, advocacy, reconciliation, justice and peace-making.

How much does the trip cost?
£700 per person

What is included in the price?

  • run entrance fee
  • accommodation (based on sharing a twin or double room)
  • all meals (there may be one or two lunches (allow around £10 per lunch) during free time in the itinerary where you will need to buy your lunch)
  • group transport, including to and from the group accommodation if you are booked on the recommended flights, or meet up at Tel Aviv airport at the appropriate time
  • local tour guides
  • entrance fees and donations to the organisations we visit
  • tips for accommodation, guides and drivers
  • running T-Shirt

What is not included in the price?
Your flight. You need to book your own.

  • We do not arrange group flights for this trip as we have found many participants like to arrange their flights to be flexible around the dates of the trip, their departure airport or airline.

    If you want to travel with the trip leader and other participants, our recommended flights are shown below. We will put all participants choosing to travel on the recommended flights in touch with each other so they can arrange to meet up at the airport before departure.

    You will need to indicate if you intend to book the recommended flights when you complete the application form.

    If you do not wish to travel on the recommended flights, we will be in touch to request your flight details so that we can provide information on how you can meet up with the group.
  • travel to/from UK airport
  • personal travel insurance (you need to obtain your own)
  • hot drinks (apart from breakfast at the accommodation), all alcoholic and soft drinks
  • bottled water

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What are the recommended flights?

Outbound
Saturday 4th March 2023 on EasyJet flight EZY2085, which departs Luton at 11:40 and arrives in Tel Aviv at 18:40.

Return
Saturday 11th March 2023 on EasyJet flight EZY2086, which departs Tel Aviv at 19:35 and arrives in Luton at 23:10.

All times are local.

What if I don’t want to join the recommended flights?

  • We will confirm a date, time and location for you to meet the group.

  • We cannot help you make any arrangements outside the group itinerary. You will be responsible for all your costs before joining and after leaving the group, including your transport between Tel Aviv airport and the group accommodation, unless you arrange to meet the participants taking the recommended flights in the arrivals hall at Tel Aviv.

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Further information

Travel Insurance
You will need to organise your travel insurance and send us your policy details before you travel. We advise that standard off-the-shelf packages for travel insurance are fine, e.g. from your bank or the Post Office.

You will need to check if it covers ‘the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ but can mention that we will not be travelling outside the main tourist destinations.

Will I need to fundraise?
Yes, please. We ask all team members to use the Marathon as an opportunity to raise vital funds for our work in the West Bank and Gaza. You can read more about this incredible work here. We ask that you do your best to raise £1000 or more through sponsorship and/or local events.

Amos Trust’s fundraising team will be on hand to help you every step of the way. Contact megan@amostrust.org if you would like to chat about this before committing. Otherwise, our fundraising team will be in touch as soon as you sign up to take part to assist you. 

Can I have a single room?
Yes, at an additional cost of £150 to cover the single supplement charged by the accommodation providers. We will add this cost to your balance invoice if you choose a single room on your booking form.

Do I need a visa?

  • British nationals can visit Israel for up to 3 months without applying for a visa.

  • Your passport needs to have an expiry date at least six months after the trip’s start date.

  • The Israeli Immigration Authorities will issue you a small, printed entry visa at Tel Aviv airport. Make sure you keep this in your passport for the duration of the trip. Your passport will not be stamped on entry.

  • If you do not have a British passport, you will need to check the visa arrangements to enter Israel with your passport.

Do I need any vaccinations?
No.

Why do you ask what stamps I have in my passport?

  • A few countries are likely to raise questions from the Israeli Immigration Authorities if your passport shows you have visited them. We will contact you if we think the countries you have visited will raise any questions.

  • If you have visited Iran, dependent upon your reason for travel to the country, you may need to obtain a second passport. 

What will the accommodation be like?

  • We are planning to stay for the first night in a hotel in East Jerusalem near the Old City and then at a hotel near Manger Square in Bethlehem for the rest of the trip.

  • All rooms will be en-suite, and towels are provided.

Will there be WiFi?
WiFi will (hopefully) be available in the accommodation.

Mobile phone usage

  • Please check the costs of calls, texts and data usage in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories with your mobile phone provider before the trip. Coverage from Israeli providers is available in Bethlehem.

  • Ensure you avoid unwanted roaming charges by adjusting your phone settings.

What will the food be like?
Plentiful and delicious! Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for. We recommend you bring whatever energy gels or high-carb snacks you use when running with you from the UK. 

Can I drink the water?

  • Though the water in the West Bank and Israel is generally safe, we strongly recommend sticking to bottled water to avoid ‘traveller’s tummy’ — especially as you will be running. Bottled water is freely available for sale.

  • It would be wise to bring some anti-bacterial hand wash for use before and after meals.

What currency do I need to bring? And how much?

  • The currency in use in the West Bank is the Israeli Shekel, although some places also accept US dollars.

  • You should purchase your Shekels before the trip as time is limited once the trip starts.

  • You will need enough money to cover one or two lunches during the trip, your own beverages, alcohol and bottled water, and any souvenirs you wish to purchase.

  • There are cash machines in Bethlehem but be aware of conversion charges.

Will it be safe?

  • The safety and well-being of our groups are always Amos Trust’s number one priority.

  • Amos has been taking groups to the Holy Land for more than 20 years, and we have deep friendships and high levels of trust with our local guides and partners.

  • Our partner, Holy Land Trust, will host the trip.

  • We will be welcomed with incredible hospitality, which is both a beautiful cultural norm and a response to how we choose to locate and shape our visits.

  • Should there be a significant deterioration in the local or regional security situation, we will take careful guidance from our local partners and the UK FCDO travel advice before proceeding with the trip.

Are there cultural norms or expectations I should be aware of?

  • We will be staying in a reasonably conservative Arab society, so you should dress modestly.

  • Women should avoid strappy or low-cut tops and short skirts/shorts; men should stick to long trousers or shorts that come down well past the knees.

  • We will visit local families and groups, churches, mosques and synagogues. Some religious places will insist on shoulders and knees being covered.

  • If heads are required to be covered, suitable coverings are usually offered by the places of worship concerned.

  • Alcohol is available in the hotel and many restaurants and cafes.

  • Whilst it is fine to drink in these environments, it is not acceptable to drink outside of the places serving alcohol or to excess.

Shall I bring gifts?
Please do not bring gifts. This is because it isn’t fair if some get and some don’t. We’ve seen gifts given to some, but not all, can provoke bullying among children.
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Climate Justice and flights

  • We are keenly aware of the dilemma of campaigning for climate justice whilst flying groups of supporters around the world to visit our partners.

  • Our Environmental Impact Statement outlines our considered response to this dilemma. It confirms our commitment to donate 5% of the total amount that Amos Trust spends on flights each year to our climate justice work in Nicaragua. This meets the bulk of our offsetting costs over the course of a year.

  • myclimate.org calculates the carbon cost of return flights from London Luton for this trip to be 1.4t of CO2 per person for the approx. 7,200km round trip. The offset cost for this is approximately £30.

  • The confirmation email you receive when you have submitted your booking form will contain a link to a payment page for you to donate towards the carbon offsetting costs of your flights. A £15 donation would match Amos Trust’s 5%donation, and a £30 donation would fully offset the carbon for your flights. 

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Consent for photography/filming

Amos Trust is a creative organisation, and we love telling stories. One of the ways we do this is through photography and film. There may be a designated Amos photographer and/or filmmaker on your trip to help us ‘tell the story’ so that we can share it with other Amos supporters and new audiences.

We do this across Amos’ print and digital media, including print publications, websites, e-marketing, posters, banners, advertising, film, and social media channels.

By confirming that you have read and understood the Essential Information for this trip:

  • you consent to Amos Trust using photographs and/or video recordings, including images of you, to promote our work,

  • you understand that images on websites can be viewed worldwide and not just in the United Kingdom and that some overseas countries may not provide the same level of protection to the rights of individuals as EU/UK legislation provides,

  • you understand that some images or recordings may be kept permanently once they are published and stored as an archive of Amos Trust.

Your rights
If you feel uncomfortable being photographed or filmed while on your trip, please inform the photographer and/or filmmaker, and they will happily stop photographing/filming you. If you prefer, ask your trip leader to ask the photographer and/or filmmaker on your behalf.

You can ask Amos Trust to stop using any images you appear in at any time, in which case they will not be used in future publications but may continue appearing in publications already in circulation.
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Payments

The due dates for making payments for the trip are as follows:

  • Deposit:
    A deposit of £300 per-person payment is due on receipt of an email confirming your place (your confirmation will include a link to make this payment).

  • Balance:
    We will send you an invoice for the balance due, including a single supplement if you have selected that option. 
    All balances must be paid by 31 January 2023.

Your invoice will include a link to make online payments using a credit or debit card or your PayPal account if you have one. The invoice will also have our bank details if you prefer to make a bank payment directly from your account. 

You can also pay by cheque (payable to ‘Amos Trust’) and posted to: Amos Trust, St Clement’s, 1 St Clement’s Court, London EC4N 7HB

You can also phone the office on 0207 5882638 during working hours to make a payment over the phone with a credit or debit card.
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Cancellation

Cancellation by Amos Trust
If Amos Trust cancels the trip, we will issue a full refund of all monies paid by team members.

Cancellation by the participant
If you need to cancel your trip place trip after your place has been confirmed, please let us know as soon as possible. Amos Trust will refund all money you have paid, less any costs incurred that cannot be reclaimed, for which we will give you a breakdown.

CONTACT US

Amos Trust
St Clement’s
1 St Clement’s Court
London
EC4N 7HB
United Kingdom

Telephone:
+44 (0) 20 7588 2638
Email:
office@amostrust.org
Registered Charity No.
1164234

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