With the commencement of the school year next week, The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that Hamas has imposed an Islamic dress code on female students.Hamas announced that female students must wear Islamic dress in schools starting from the current academic semester. The dress code stipulated head covering and full-length robes and required that teachers instruct only those of the same sex.

“Any female student that does not attend class in the proper attire will be sent home,” Hamas said on Aug. 24.

The Hamas regulation came in wake of numerous denials by the Islamic regime in the Gaza Strip of plans to impose a dress code for females. Hamas has also established a so-called modesty police force aimed to prevent the mixing of sexes at beaches or unmarried couples in cars.

Under the dress code, the head covering of the girls must be white, and wear a blue robe.

“The uniform should be as follows: Navy blue jilbab with white headscarf and black or white shoes,” said the announcement. “We request that all girls follow these instructions.”

The Palestinian Education Ministry has banned the employment of male teachers at girls’ schools and women teachers in boys’ schools. The regulations would directly affect the 250,000 students of government schools, which began the academic year on Aug. 23.

On Aug. 24, Palestinian sources said several girls were sent home when they arrived to school in jeans. The sources said Christian girls in government schools were also forced to observe the Muslim dress code.

In 2009, Hamas, amid the rise of Al Qaida, imposed Islamic law on the Gaza Strip, including forcing female attorneys to wear Islamic dress. Hamas has also been pressing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), with 200,000 enrolled in its school system, to abide by the regulations.

Hamas controls recently won control of the UNRWA teachers association, winning 85 percent of the vote.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.