“GAZA, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Hamas condemned the United Nations on Sunday, saying it planned to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust — but the U.N. agency which runs schools in the enclave would not confirm any change.
Branding the Nazi genocide of the Jews “a lie invented by the Zionists”, the Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip wrote in an open letter to a senior U.N. official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in U.N. schools.
A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which educates some 200,000 refugee children in Gaza, said the Holocaust was not on its current curriculum. He would not comment on Hamas’s statement that it was about to change.
Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948, a move that left half the Arab population of then British-ruled Palestine as refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.
Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included a chapter on the Holocaust.
In an open letter to local UNRWA chief John Ging, the movement’s Popular Committees for Refugees said: “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”
UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said: “There is no mention of the Holocaust in the current syllabus.” Asked if UNRWA planned to change that, he declined to comment.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, run by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, teachers said there was no official guidance on teaching about the Holocaust.
Israelis are angered by denial of the Holocaust among some in the Middle East, notably lately by leaders in Iran, who provide support for Hamas. Abbas, who has engaged in negotiation with Israel, has had to distance himself from his own 1980s doctoral thesis, which cast doubt on the scale of the Holocaust.
Hamas’s official spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said he did not want to discuss the history of the Holocaust but said:
“Regardless of the controversy, we oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.” “
Update 1: Previous posts on Hamas:
Slip Of The Tongue from Hamas?
Update 2: It get worse:
“Hamas’s Younis al-Astal lashed out after hearing that the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) planned to teach pupils in Gaza about the Holocaust. Mr Astal wrote in a statement that this would amount to “marketing a lie and spreading it”.
“I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonisers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies,” he wrote. ”
Update 3: More from the Hamas leadership (sorry, iffy link):
“Ismail Haniyya of Hamas, Prime Minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, stated that the vow of his government to the Palestinians people is “not to give up the Palestinian right to liberate Jerusalem, not to sellout the blood of the martyrs, and not to recognize the Zionist entity”.
Haniyya added that the resistance, and its victory against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, will prevail and will lead the Palestinians to liberation.
He also said that the Palestinian detainees would be freed due to the steadfastness of the people and the resistance.
“Resistance will remain steadfast, we will never recognize the Zionist entity”, he said, “Our people in Gaza re the freedom fighters who defend the country, and sacrifice themselves to achieve liberation and a better future for their people, they defended their religion and their homeland”.
He also said that “God willing, we will gather in the yards of the Al Aqsa mosque, and pray after liberating it from the occupiers”. “
I suppose “liberating it” is some form of euphemism?