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Gaza security forces to uphold 'standards of manliness'

May 21, 2013 2:53 P.M. (Updated: May 22, 2013 9:59 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip have been instructed to uphold standards of manliness, Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said Tuesday.

Security services in Gaza should "keep an eye on those involved in reducing standards of manliness," Hammad said during a graduation speech for security officers, without providing further details.

The Interior Ministry and its security officials "have their own methods which will be used very openly," he added.

Hammad applauded the security officers and described them as great examples to follow, adding that there is a big difference between those who support a godly cause and those who serve as slaves for the Americans and Israelis.

In April, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported that Hamas had been rounding up young men and forcing them to get haircuts on grounds of inappropriate hairstyles.

Some of the youths were beaten for styling their hair in a way deemed unacceptable to Gaza's ruling Islamist movement, or wearing low-hung trousers, PCHR said.

"Those young men were forced to get haircuts in a humiliating way and several of them were beaten. They were also forced to sign statements saying they will never grow their hair or have strange hairstyles or even wear low-waist trousers," a statement from the group said.

Hamas police spokesman Ayman al-Batinji confirmed at the time that some young people had been compelled to get their hair cut, in a move he said was related to inappropriate behavior on the streets.

But he denied claims of police brutality, saying their treatment of the youngsters was "not as harsh as it appears," without giving further details.
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