Palestinians shave heads in sign of solidarity with Gaza supporter

Prominent West Bank leaders of the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shaved their heads Wednesday to demonstrate solidarity with a group activist in the Gaza Strip who was shaven by Hamas forces wanting to humiliate him. For older Arab men, hair, and particularly mustaches, are a sign of masculinity and status. Observant Muslims often grow beards. Hamas wrested control of Gaza from Fatah-affiliated forces in June and tensions have been high between the groups since then. On Tuesday, Hamas forces rounded up a group of Fatah leaders, and shaved off half of one man's hair and mustache as humiliation. Hamas denied it shaved the man. In the West Bank city of Ramallah, where Abbas' Fatah-dominated government sits, a number of prominent Fatah leaders shaved their heads, beards and mustaches Wednesday in a sign of solidarity.