Dog Walking Outlawed in Gaza to ‘Protect’ Women and Children

As temperatures soar during the summer months, some dogs will be forced to be remain in cramped apartments, as their owners are not allowed to walk them.

Militant group Hamas just banned dog walking in the Gaza Strip.

“In recent weeks, the phenomenon of young men walking with their dogs in the streets has widely spread,” police spokesman Ayman al-Batniji told The Telegraph. “It is neither of our culture nor of our traditions….we are not against dogs, we use dogs in our work – the ban is simply to protect our women and children.”

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Owners are allowed to walk their dogs in fields, but not in popular areas, like beaches and markets.

The ban stems from Islam’s belief that dogs are unclean and are forbidden. For instance, some people believe if you touch a dog, you have to bathe seven times before you are considered clean again.

Al-Batniji adds that no fines or confiscations have occurred, rather violators are required to sign a piece of paper saying they will not walk their dogs.

But that hasn’t eased fears for dog owners. According to The Telegraph, people are scared officers will confiscate their dogs, with bigger ones taken to work for the police.

As dog ownership continues to rise in the area, politics and religion may face more and more opposition.

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