Female Palestinian television newscasters are the latest target of Gaza-based Islamists believed to have ties to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
In a statement distributed to the international press, a group calling itself the Righteous Swords of Islam threatened to behead female employees of Palestine TV who continue to violate Islam's teachings regarding modest dress for women.
“It is indeed disgraceful that the women working for the official Palestinian media are competing between each other to display their charms,” read the statement. The group took particular offense at the fact that female Palestinian newscasters do not wear the traditional veil that Islam demands women use to cover their faces.
Several female Palestinian reporters told The Associated Press that they have received threatening calls to their cellphones of late, and some are so frightened they are not showing up for work.
One Palestinian Authority official told The Jerusalem Post that such groups are trying to impose a Taliban-style of Islamic rule in Gaza. The ruling Hamas faction, itself a deeply devoted Islamic movement, appears to be doing little to thwart that goal.