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Gaza police to enforce ban on male salon workers

March 5, 2010 12:19 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2010 12:35 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – De facto government police will begin enforcing an Interior Ministry recomendation to prohibit men from working in women's hair salons, a Friday statement said.

Reports of the ban surfaced Thursday, as observers marked the move as the latest in a series of laws restricting personal freedoms in the coastal enclave. Over the past four months, women have been prohibited from riding motorcycles, and men have been banned from removing their shirts at the beach.

The latest ban targeting women's hair salons was signed by de facto Minister of the Interior Fathi Hammad, set to be enforced by the Gaza government's police.

A separate statement from the local police in Gaza said those violating the ban would be "tracked and punished."

The decisions mark a departure from the stated policy of the Hamas-run government, which has said it would not work to impose Islamic rule on the people of Gaza.

Internal bombings targeting CD and DVD shops, coffee houses and salons, which have occurred sporadically in Gaza since 2008, were condemned by government officials.

"Next thing you know, they will ban doctors from treating women, and will only let women treat women," 44-year-old hairdresser Barakat Al-Ghoul told The Associated Press in an initial announcement on the ban, adding, "Tomorrow, they will ban everything."

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