Hamas would ban men and women dancing

Dr Zahar is quoted on the Arabic language Ilaf website as suggesting that a Hamas-run Palestinian state would gradually outlaw co-operation with Israel.

Predicting that under Hamas any Palestinian state would be a strictly Islamic one, Dr Zahar praised the Hamas-controlled city council in Qalkilya for having stopped a party at which there was mixed dancing.

He said: "A man holds a woman by the hand and dances in front of everyone. Does that serve the national problem? If so, why have corruption and prostitution become pervasive?"

On Israel's demand that Hamas should not take part in elections in January unless it has disarmed, Dr Zahar said: "Israel is not our God. It was defeated, and those who are defeated cannot set conditions."

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