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Hamas bans “revealing” clothes in shopfronts

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Scantily-clad mannequins and pictures of underwear models are to disappear from clothes shops in the Gaza Strip after officials announced new rules, purchase the BBC reports.

"It is absolutely forbidden to place any photographic device inside the shop and it is forbidden to display revealing clothes in front of the shops, health " a statement from Hamas said.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, patient which controls Gaza, said that the new rules were to protect "public morality". The ruling comes two weeks after the organisation banned women from smoking water pipes (see WVON story).

Hamas has repeatedly denied it intends to impose Islamic Sharia law in Gaza and has so far taken only limited steps to enforce modesty and prevent the sexes from mixing in public.

Hmm, personally, I'm not convinced. These steps smack of increasing panic among Hamas and when that happens, organisations clamp down more and more in the hope of keeping control. Unfortunately, it's nearly always women who come off worst. 

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