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Palestinians learning Hebrew for strategic advantage

Increasing numbers of Palestinians in Gaza are studying Hebrew so they can follow Israeli media, understand Israeli thinking and, therefore, better manage the conflict between the two sides.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The number of Palestinians learning Hebrew in the Gaza Strip is on the rise, and for a variety of reasons.

“There is a growing need to learn the Hebrew language that stems from the importance of knowing how Israelis think about us and what they say about us on their radio stations, television channels and in the newspapers,” said Ahmad al-Salihi, who is learning Hebrew at the Nafha Center for Prisoners Studies and Israeli Affairs, a local education facility. “During the last Israeli war, Israeli TV channels covered everything that was going on in Gaza for the Israeli public to see. Sometimes, I would see the Israeli reporter being very serious, then I would see him laugh and sometimes he would seem annoyed. I wanted to know the truth behind these mix of feelings toward us,” he told Al-Monitor.

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