Hamas on Thursday announced men are banned from working in women's hair salons.The Hamas Interior Ministry says those violating the new ban face legal consequences, but would not elaborate.
Islamic tradition forbids women from showing their hair to men who are not their husbands or blood relatives. Still, until now allowances were made for male hairdressers working in women's salons in Gaza City.
Thursday's announcement comes amid a Hamas campaign to impose Islamic customs on Gaza's 1.5 million people.
Sinceseizing Gaza in 2007, Hamas has taken gradual steps in that directionwhile avoiding a frontal assault on secularism. However, the movementis under growing pressure from more radical Islamist groups to proveits fundamentalist credentials.