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Hamas same sex schools ban takes effect

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A law banning same sex schooling in the Gaza Strip has entered into force, education minister for Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory, said on Monday.

The law, which was issued on February 10, was approved by the Islamist movement's legislative council and went into effect on Sunday, Osama Mazini told a news conference.

Article 46 of the law, seen by AFP, will "ban the mixing of students from the two sexes in educational establishments after the age of nine, and work to 'feminise' girls' schools."

Hamas has in the past moved to enforce conservative religious laws, including telling schoolgirls in Gaza to wear traditional full-length robes and headscarves in the besieged enclave.

The newly approved education law also forbids the "receipt of gifts or aid aimed at normalising (relations) with the Zionist occupation (Israel)."

Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, after it won a landslide victory in a Palestinian general election a year before against rival West-Bank based Fatah.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130401/hamas-same-sex-schools-ban-takes-effect