Antonia Zerbisias and Pedophilia in Palestinian Society

Published: February 22nd 2010

Hamas wedding ceremony

The Palestinian law, amended in 2005 and valid in the Gaza Strip, set 18 as the minimum age for marriage. However, it gives authority to the Islamic court to approve marriages of minor females and males alike if the supreme judge of the Islamic court is convinced that they are mature physically and mentally. [6]  


The power of the Islamic court in the Gaza Strip was reinforced after Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority institutions in a violent military coup in June 2007. The Arab daily Al Hayat reported in December 2008 , a few days before Operation Cast Lead, that the Hamas parliament in Gaza voted in favour of a law allowing courts to mete out sentences in accordance with Sharia law. According to the bill, if approved, courts would be able to condemn offenders to a series of violent punitive measures that include whipping, severing of hands, crucifixion and hanging. The bill reserves death sentences for people who negotiate with a foreign government "against Palestinian interests" and engage in any activity that can "hurt Palestinian morale." Hayat further reported that any Palestinian caught drinking or selling wine would suffer forty lashes at the whipping post if the bill passes. Convicted thieves would lose their right hand [7].  Since then, the Hamas government has slowly but gradually implemented a series of rules in accordance with Islamic law that affect many aspects of daily life, including the enforcement of a dress code for women on the street, in schools and in the courts and a prohibition against mixed-gender public ceremonies. [8]

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