Schools in the Gaza Strip will offer Hebrew as an elective subject from the start of the 2013 school year, an education ministry official said Thursday. Ziad Thabit, deputy minister of education in Gaza, told Ma\'an there were already two centers teaching Hebrew in the Gaza Strip, but it was not previously offered in schools. Thabit said the Ministry of Education in Ramallah was informed of the decision and raised no objections. At a curriculum meeting in April, the ministry discussed adding modern Hebrew to the syllabus as part of a drive to introduce more foreign languages, Thabit said at the time. In April, Thabit\'s Ramallah-based counterpart Muhammad Abu Zeid told Ma\'an the Palestinian Authority had never considered teaching Hebrew in the Palestinian curriculum. He said there should be no opposition to teaching Hebrew but insisted that a standardized curriculum should apply in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which is governed by the Fatah-led PA. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip speak or understand modern Hebrew as a result of having worked in Israel, or being imprisoned in Israeli jails.