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Hamas imposes Sharia law in Gaza

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Faraj Al Ghoul, the Hamas Justice Minister, announced the Gazan parliament would replace the criminal code in existence since 1936 with a new one based on Sharia Islamic law.

The law stipulates a minimum of 20 lashes for minor offenses, and a minimum of 80 lashes in criminal cases. The hand of a thief will be cut off; the death penalty will be reinstated for criminal offenders including homosexual practices, etc.

The secular group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) attacked the law as an abuse of power, pointing out that the Gazan parliament’s term has already expired and it is therefore not authorized to issue such a law. Moreover, it slams Hamas for wanting to impose on Palestinian society the retrograde model of the Muslim Brotherhood .

In 2009, Hamas banned motorcyclists from driving a woman on their back seat [1] and imposed the Islamic dress code [2]. On 4 March 2010, Hamas banned men from working in women’s hair salons [3]. On 10 February 2013, Hamas banned mixed schools for students over 9 years [4].

[1] “Gaza: Hamas bans motorbike rides for women”, Associated Press, 10 July 2009.

[2] “Hamas patrols beaches in Gaza to enforce conservative dress code”, by Rory McCarthy, The Guardian, 18 October 2009.

[3] “Hamas bans men from working in female hair salons”, Associated Press, 4 March 2010.

[4] "Hamas ban on mixed-sex schools in Gaza comes into force", AFP, 2 Avril 2013.

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