Amal Hamad, a member of Fatah’s central committee in Gaza canceled a visit to Ramallah on Sunday after Hamas police officers insisted on carrying out a physical inspection at Beit Hanoun crossing, reports the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
“I headed to Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint where police stopped me and inspected my luggage and my hand bag. Then they asked to inspect me physically and I refused,” Hamad told Ma’an.
She was heading to Ramallah to participate in an internal Fatah meeting.
Amal Hamad was picked by the Fatah Central Committee to replace Mohammad Dahlan, who used to be the head of the Preventive Security Service in Gaza, and was dismissed in 2011 after Egypt accused him of funneling millions to the Al Qaeda terrorists who, among other things, had blown the Egyptian gas pipeline in the Sinai.
The takeover of political rule in Gaza by Hamas has tightened the standards regarding women’s public behavior, although Gazan women reported in recent BBC interviews that, for the most part, they ignore those demands and are not challenged over them by men.
Back in July of 2009, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice ordered female lawyers to wear black robes, a dark suit (Jilbab, tuxedo or coat); and a scarf covering their hair. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called this decision “a violation of the law and an unjustified intervention into lawyers’ affairs.”
Commenting on the incident at the Erez crossing, an unnamed Fatah spokesman warned of the dangerous consequences of what he dubbed the “humiliation of the free women of Palestine and Fatah leaders from the Gaza Strip.”
The humiliation of Hamad was “a crime both from moral and national perspectives,” the spokesman told Ma’an.
He applauded Hamad for her honorable reaction to “gang terrorism” practiced by Hamas’ security services.
Hamad reportedly told Hamas security forces that their behavior reminded her of the occupation, the spokesman added.
The Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza described the remarks by Fatah’s spokesman as “false and fabricated.”
“We were surprised in the ministry by media reports quoting a statement by a Fatah spokesperson and declarations by a female member of Fatah’s Central Committee, Amal Hamad. These claims are too far from being true,” a statement released by the Hamas ministry said.