Hamas Pleasantly Surprises Everyone by Hiring a Young SpokeswomanS

The Hamas government of the Gaza Strip recently took a step in overhauling its global image by appointing, for the first time ever, a spokeswoman.

Isra Almodallal, the 23-year-old woman who will represent the Gaza Strip's conservative Islamist rulers to the rest of the world, represents a dramatic change for Hamas, which has, along with its strident opposition to Israel, often voiced a very conservative view of Islam that puts severe restriction on women's behavior. Her appointment comes as the latest in a series of changes instituted by the government's new head of media, Ihab Ghussein, who, according to CBS, has been trying to put a younger, tech-savvier face on Hamas since assuming his post six months ago.

To that end, he's hired younger media staffers, started a new official government website, and hired Almodallal, insisting, "Women are partners in our society." He's also said that Almodallal, who speaks fluent, British-accented English thanks to some teenage years spent in the UK, was one of several young women who applied for the job of improving Hamas's image in the West.

[CBS News]

Image via AP, Adel Hana