Hamas slammed the United Nations Sunday, saying the organization planned to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust, but the UN agency which runs schools in the enclave would not confirm any change, Reuters reported.
Calling the Nazi genocide of the Jews "a lie invented by the Zionists," Hamas wrote in an open letter to a senior UN official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in the UN 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, Reuters said.
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.
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."