Hamas authorities in Gaza have arrested a male hairdresser for cutting a woman's hair, according to a report on BBC.
The action was taken under a law introduced last year by the Hamas government – although the rule had not been enforced until now.
The ban on male hairdressers with female clients was imposed to adhere to Islamic tradition. Hamas had been criticized in some conservative quarters for being too moderate.
Moreover, the majority of Muslim women in Gaza apparently agree with the ban.
As in Saudi Arabia, undercover police are reportedly watching people in order to enforce Islamic-based laws, placing some male hairdressers in jeopardy.
Adnan Barakat, a male hairdresser, told BBC: Without work, I am like a dead man, because I am without work. The salon cannot work without me. This is my work since 1984. I haven't another work. What can I do?
Barakat ruefully added: Maybe I will emigrate to Somalia or Afghanistan. There's no life for me in Gaza.
In the past, some hair salons with co-ed clientele have been firebombed.
They are not hard to find since there are reportedly only about six such male hairdressers in Gaza who cut women’s hair.
Unemployment in Gaza is already a serious problem – estimates run as high as 50 percent, according to the United Nations.
However, unlike the West Bank, which is run by the very moderate and relatively progressive Fatah group of Palestinians, Gaza is quite conservative.
Hamas has tried to impose other similar practices; for example, compelling female lawyers to cover their heads in court and pressuring teenaged girls to wear modest clothes.
Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, is regarded as a terrorist group by the U.S.