GAZA The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Thursday banned men in the Gaza Strip from working in women's hair salons, vowing to arrest and try offenders.
"The Palestinian authorities (in Gaza) have decided to ban men from working in women's beauty parlors following instructions from Interior Minister Fathi Hammad," said a statement on the website of the Hamas-run police force in Gaza.
"Anyone who breaches this decision will be arrested and tried."
Over the last three years, several beauty parlors and hair salons in the Gaza Strip have been the target of explosions and other attacks, which Hamas have blamed on radical Islamist groups who share the ideology of al Qaeda.
Such groups, which seek to defy Hamas rule in Gaza and criticize its leaders for not implementing strict Islamic law, have been blamed for attacks on places in the territory such as Internet cafes and Christian schools and property. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Janet Lawrence)