Hamas Information Ministry signs deal to block 'licentious Web sites'

The Hamas Information Ministry said in a statement that it signed a deal with the Palestinian telecommunications company to start blocking "licentious Web sites" beginning May 15. So far, 5,000 Web sites have been blocked, said a senior telecom official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity. He did not list the sites. The official said Hamas demanded all inappropriate sites be blocked. However, the telecom company cannot bring suitable equipment into the Gaza Strip to ban a large number of Web sites, the official said. In the past, unidentified assailants have planted bombs at the entrances of Internet cafes, accusing them in printed statements of allowing customers to view pornographic Web sites. As of Sunday, Gaza residents could still view many pornographic web sites.