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Hamas bans New Year celebrations in Gaza

Al-Rai, Jordanian newspaper  |
Headline: “Hamas bans New Year celebrations in Gaza”
“The Palestinian police which is managed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip announced the ban on holding New Year celebrations in restaurants, hotels, and coffee houses in order to protect the ‘religious traditions and values,’ and in solidarity with the Jerusalem Intifada Martyrs (Shahids). Police spokesman Ayman Al-Batniji stated: ‘The [PA] Ministry of Interior and the police management did not give a permit to anyone, whether mosque, hotel, or salon, to hold New Year celebrations on New Year’s Eve,’ and clarified that a number of restaurants and hotels turned to the police for permission to hold these celebrations. He emphasized that the purpose of the ban is to ‘limit as much as possible phenomena not consistent with our customs, values, and religious dictates, and in solidarity with the Jerusalem Intifada Martyrs’ families.’ He continued: ‘We condemn the intentions of a number of bodies to hold celebrations in the shadow of the difficult conditions and stifling siege being experienced by our people, and the deaths of many Martyrs in the Intifada.’ Al-Batniji said that the police ‘protect and guard the property, money, and honor of our people’ and added: ‘The police provided protection and security in the Gaza Strip for the Christian brothers’ ceremonies during their holidays two days ago.’ A source close to the police said that ‘There will be a ban on holding any party that night without a permit.’”

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