You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Hamas names female representative

Woman is first hired to be voice of Gaza’s rulers

Isra Almodallal  took a job often held by tough-talking men.

Adel Hana/Associated Press

Isra Almodallal took a job often held by tough-talking men.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Hamas government of the Gaza Strip has for the first time appointed a woman to represent it to the world.

The hiring of Isra Almodallal as a spokeswoman for the territory’s conservative Islamist rulers is part of a long-running push by the group, which has at times sought to curb women’s freedoms, to present a newer, friendlier face both to its own citizens and internationally.

Continue reading below

Almodallal, a 23-year-old who speaks fluent British-accented English, has assumed a post normally held by tough-talking men who voice Hamas’s bitter opposition to Israel. She will be responsible for the Gaza government’s communications with the international media.

‘‘We are looking forward to having a different and unique language,’’ Almodallal said in an interview in her Gaza City office, on her first week in the job. ‘‘We will make the issues more human.’’

The change in policy began six months ago when a new head of the government media department, Ihab Ghussein, took over. He hired younger media people, started a new official government website, began rampant use of social media, and started conducting seminars and workshops.

Ghussein said he appointed Almodallal in an effort ‘‘to be more open to the West.’’ He said many women were among the dozens of applicants considered for the position.

‘‘Women are partners in our society,’’ Ghussein said.

Almodallal, a divorced mother of a four-year-old girl, does not have her roots in the Hamas movement. Unlike many other Hamas officials, her office does not bear a photo of Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. She keeps a book on American history there, alongside the Koran.

She was raised in Gaza and spent five years in Britain as a teenager.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.