Hamas cuts prisoners' terms for Koran study

Inmates in the Gaza Strip's main prison can now reduce their sentences by one year if they memorize five chapters from the Koran, Islam's holy book, the governor announced Monday. The prison, controlled by Hamas since its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, holds 350 prisoners, 30 of whom are on death row. The new scripture program seeks to encourage prisoners "to behave according to the Koran's law," prison governor Col. Abu al-Abed Hamid, said in a statement. Most of the inmates were sentenced before Hamas took power, for crimes ranging from murder to corruption to collaborating with Israel.