Public freedom committee to meet tomorrow

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by P F Tinmore, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. P F Tinmore
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    P F Tinmore Platinum Member

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    GAZA, (PIC)-- Senior Hamas official Ismail Al-Ashqar, a member of the public freedoms committee, said the committee would meet this Monday to address important contentious issues thwarting the national reconciliation.

    According to Palestine newspaper, Ashqar stated that the public freedoms committee would discuss the issues of political arrest, passports, the closed charities and institutions, and the restriction imposed on travel and political activities.

    The Hamas official affirmed that his Movement deals with these files more flexibly and transparently than ever and gives the higher national interest precedence over any thing else.

    This committee involves members from many Palestinian factions including Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Arab Front.

    Public freedom committee to meet tomorrow
     
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    Gaza's Elected Islamist Rulers Crack Down on Secular Community Gaza's elected Islamist rulers crack down on secular community - Telegraph

    After nearly four years of Hamas rule, the Gaza Strip's small secular community is in tatters, decimated by the militant group's campaign to impose its strict version of Islam in the coastal territory.

    Hamas has bullied men and women to dress modestly, tried to keep the sexes from mingling in public and sparked a flight of secular university students and educated professionals. Most recently, it has confiscated novels it deems offensive to Islam from a bookshop and banned Gaza's handful of male hairdressers from styling women's hair.

    Gaza, a tiny sliver of land squeezed between Egypt and Israel, always had a significant Islamic flavour, but once tolerated bars and cinemas, especially during Egyptian rule from 1948 to 1967. A conservative religious movement began to take hold in the 1980s, as part of a larger, region-wide religious awakening.

    The trend toward religious fundamentalism preceded the Hamas takeover. In recent years, hardliners have burned down the cinemas. Their charred remains are still visible in Gaza City. Militants blew up the last bar in 2005.

    Gaza women, whose attire once varied from Western pants and skirts to colourful traditional embroidered robes, began donning ankle-length loose robes. Women with face veils, once rarely seen in Gaza, are now a common sight.

    Today, plainclothes officers sometimes halt couples in the streets, demanding to see marriage licenses. Last year, the Interior Ministry banned women from smoking water pipes in public. Islamic faith does not ban women from smoking, but it is considered taboo in Gaza society.

    "In the end, the people who think differently are leaving," said Rami, a 32-year-old activist in one of Gaza's few secular groups. He refused to give his last name, fearing retribution
     

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