19 Jul 2010

Ban on smoking of water pipes by women

10:32 am on 19 July 2010

The Hamas government in Gaza has banned women from smoking water pipes in public.

Hamas issued a statement clarifying the smoking of nargila or shisha after over-enthusiatic police began telling cafe owners that Hamas had banned the pipes altogether.

Cafe owners say the action has cost them 30% of their weekend business in some areas.

The ABC reports alcohol is strictly forbidden in Gaza. Most cinemas and bars were closed after the 2000 Palestinian intifada.

Hamas says it has banned women and minors from smoking water pipes because it was "against custom, traditions and social norms".