Hamas rips U.N. for teaching the Holocaust


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas condemned the United Nations for switching to a new textbook for Gaza schoolchildren that includes a chapter on the Holocaust.

In an open letter sent Sunday to the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs schools for 200,000 Gazan children, Hamas called the systematic murder of Jews during the Holocaust "a lie invented by the Zionists" and said it would "refuse to let our children study" it.

The curriculum changes would affect eighth-graders.

A UNRWA spokesman told Reuters that the Holocaust was not part of the current curriculum. He would not comment on any possible changes.

On Monday, Hamas religious leader Younis al-Astal called the teaching of the Holocaust to Palestinian children a "war crime" and the "marketing a lie and spreading it," the Associated Press reported.

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