When Hamas won political control of the Palestinian Authority in the 2006 elections, there were widespread fears that the new leaders would impose conservative Islamic values on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
But those fears proved to be largely unfounded at the time.
Three years later, with the West Bank controlled by a pro-Western caretaker government of questionable legitimacy and the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas militants who routed Fatah fighters in 2007, there are new signs that Hamas is moving to impose conservative values on the Gaza Strip.
Over the weekend, Gaza's top judge said that he has ordered female attorneys to wear headscarves in court.
"We will not allow people to corrupt morals," Judge Abdul-Raouf Halabi told the AP. "This (dress code) will improve work in the courts."
The decision follows news that Hamas vice squads have been stepping up patrols and new steps by border guards to prevent visitors from bringing booze into Gaza.
Now, Fares Akram reports, Hamas virtue police are taking to the streets with posters and signs to encourage conservative Islamic virtue.
"The employee of Hamas' ministry of religious affairs showed a poster of Satan looking at a girl wearing a headscarf but a tight shirt and pants," Akram reported today for China's Xinhua news agency.
"'This is a 100 percent devilish dress,'" the man said about the clothes most of the Gazan girls wear. "'The Satan promoted to her that this is a legal Islamic clothing.'"
Gaza has always been more conservative than the West Bank. There are no movie theaters. You won't find Palestinian women at the beach in bikinis. And no restaurants or stores sell alcohol.
But it is not a Saudi-style society. Single women and men can meet for coffee and dinner. Plenty of women choose not to wear a head scarf. Lots of women work. And many Palestinians in Gaza are against imposing conservative values on their society.
"This decision constitutes a violation of the law and an unjustified intervention into lawyers' affairs," the group said, "It also undermines personal freedoms and women's rights."