Hamas already has political control of Gaza,
and now there are concerns that the Islamic militant group may be
trying to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Hamas police recently tried to detain a young woman who was
walking with a man along the Gaza beach.
The woman says the man she was with and two of his peers were
detained, beaten and ordered to sign statements promising not to
engage in immoral activities.
It's the first known case of Hamas openly trying to punish a
woman for behaving in a way it sees as un-Islamic since the group
took power two years ago.
But it follows months of quiet pressure on the overwhelmingly
conservative residents of Gaza to abide by the group's strict
For example, Hamas officials in Gaza have urged shopkeepers to
take down foreign ads that show the shape of women's bodies.
But Hamas denies that any crackdown is under way.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.