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Hamas cracks down on fortune-tellers, mannequins

Dec. 31, 2011 3:14 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 2, 2012 12:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-run government has launched a series of campaigns targeting fortune-tellers, mannequins and cigarette vendors in the Gaza Strip.

Police sources told Ma'an that 142 fortune tellers were forced to sign an agreement at the Ministry of Interior pledging that they would not practice their craft.

As well as predicting the future, fortune tellers sell amulets for protection and are sometimes called on to solve personal or family problems.

Another campaign targets boutiques displaying lingerie on mannequins. Police officials told Ma'an that security forces inspected clothes shops across the Gaza Strip and warned owners not to display naked mannequins, lingerie or "indecent advertisements."

Police are also targeting vendors selling smuggled cigarettes and tobacco, confiscating their goods, police suorces said.

In a crackdown on car and motorcycle theft, police have distributed a database of stolen vehicles to all police stations across the coastal enclave.

Meanwhile, owners of taxi firms have been warned not to allow any former security officers to work as drivers, police officers said.

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