Hamas in Gaza burns recreational drugs

April 20, 2010 14:36


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Gaza's Hamas rulers have burned more than 1 million pills of a pain killer many Gazans take because they say it relaxes them.

Hamas Health Minister Basim Naim said Saturday that the drug, Tramadol, was confiscated from smugglers who sneak it through tunnels under the Gaza-Egyptian border. At Gaza's largest hospital, workers tossed sacks of the drug into an incinerator.Naim said many in Gaza are addicted to Tramadol, which is supposed to be available only by prescription. The drug is a mild opioid and experts say regular use can cause flulike withdrawal symptoms.

Hamas has also banned smoking in government offices and recently seized cigarettes from shops across Gaza to collect taxes on them.

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