World Bulletin / News Desk
Hamas authorities plan to expand Hebrew-language classes in the Gaza Strip's high schools to help Palestinians know their enemy, Israel.
Hamas's promotion of Hebrew learning in the Israeli-blockaded Mediterranean enclave aims to make linguistic skill a useful new front in the struggle against the occupying state.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, have begun issuing statements in Hebrew via its Twitter account.
Soumaya al-Nakhala, a senior Hamas education ministry official, told Reuters that knowing one's enemy is consistent with the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
"Expanding (Hebrew) teaching comes as a result of our plan and meeting greater demand by students to learn Hebrew. They want to learn the language of their enemy so they can avoid their tricks and evil," al-Nakhala said.
Hebrew classes are now limited to ninth-grade students, but will expand to higher grades starting next semester, she said.
"We chose to learn Hebrew because we felt it was an interesting language, and also because when you learn your enemy's language you also learn how to avoid their evil," said 14-year-old student Mohammed Seyam.
About 750 students are already studying Hebrew as part of a pilot project in Gaza, Hamas officials said, and the Islamic University has launched a faculty of Hebrew studies.
"This is a trial programme and we hope next year to expand the number of students learning Hebrew," Wafa Mqat, headmaster of a Gaza City school conducting the pilot course.
The Israeli armed forces and security services have many officers with a strong command of Arabic, particularly intelligence officers who interrogate Palestinian detainees.Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2013, 12:18