updated 7/6/2011 3:16:46 PM ET 2011-07-06T19:16:46

The ruling Hamas government has arrested at least one male hairdresser for cutting women's hair in Gaza, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Hamas banned women from using men to cut their hair in March 2010, saying it was needed because Islamic tradition forbids a woman to reveal their hair to nonrelatives. But the government only began enforcing the ban this week, according to the BBC.

The move was seen as an attempt to boost the government's Islamic credentials against critics who charge it has become too moderate.

Some Gazan hairdressers now fear they are being watched by undercover police and are sitting idle with a lack of clients, the BBC reported.

Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization, has been in control of Gaza since 2007.

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