A senior Hamas official in Gaza said on Monday that the territory's militant rulers intend to begin teaching Hebrew for high school students beginning next year.

Ziad Thabet, the education ministry undersecretary, said on Monday that the government is trying to find and train teachers. He says students should be introduced to as many languages as possible.

Hebrew, the main language spoken by Israelis, is now only offered as a university course.

Thabet says the Gaza government still needs to approve the decision, but it is likely to go ahead.

Many Palestinians see Hebrew as the language of the enemy. However, Hebrew used to be widely spoken in Gaza, particularly by those who worked in Israel until a decade ago when Israel started blocking laborers from entering the country amid escalating violence.