Gaza City, Gaza Strip: Gaza`s Hamas rulers are banning women from smoking water pipes in cafes, claiming it violates tradition and leads to divorce.
Plainclothes security officials handed out the ban order to Gaza City cafes over the weekend.
Police spokesman Ayman Batneiji said Sunday that officers are enforcing Gazan traditions. He said husbands often divorce women seen smoking in public but offered no evidence to support that claim.
The pipes are popular with both men and women in Gaza.
Since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, the Islamic Hamas has been trying to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on residents. Schoolgirls, for example, have been ordered to wear modest attire and male hair stylists are banned from women`s salons.