GAZA - New rules from the Education Ministry of the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip will bar men from teaching at girls' schools and mandate separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine.
The law, published on Monday, would go into effect next school year and applies throughout the coastal enclave, including in private, Christian-led and United Nations schools.
Critics of the new measures say the Islamist movement is trying to force its ideology on society, but proponents say they merely want to codify conservative Palestinian values into law.
"We are a Muslim people. We do not need to make people Muslims, and we are doing what serves our people and their culture," Waleed Mezher, the Education Ministry's legal adviser, told Reuters.