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      Hamas Bans Holocaust Studies in UNRWA Human Rights Curriculum

      The de facto Hamas government in Gaza has banned Holocaust studies in the human rights curriculum of the region's schools.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 3/2/2011, 12:28 PM / Last Update: 3/2/2011, 12:49 PM

      Flash 90

      The de facto Hamas government in Gaza has banned Holocaust studies in the human rights curriculum of the region's schools.

      Hamas said it would do everything in its power to prevent children from being taught about the Holocaust in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, according to the Ma'an news agency.

      “We will never allow teaching Holocaust to Gaza refugee camp children,” said Gaza Education Minister Mohammed Ashqol. “Messing up Gaza's education system is a red line which cannot be ignored.”

      Hamas Culture Ministry officials added that the lessons were an “overt intervention in Palestinian affairs” and warned the “suspicious plot” should be countered, Ma'an reported. Ministry officials said teachers who cooperated with the agency curriculum were guilty of “complicity in a crime against culture.”

      The unit, which is not new, has been part of the agency's human rights curriculum in its schools since 2002, according to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.

      Officials from the terrorist organization are at odds with UNRWA over the issue. 

      The terrorist group urged local school children to leave the classroom if human rights lessons included information about the Holocaust, if teachers tried to tell them about the genocide or gave them books about the issue.

      UNRWA: Children Deserve 'Peaceful, Non-Politicized Spaces'
      Gunness defended the policy, slamming the attempt by Hamas to dictate the agency's curriculum.

      Children deserve to learn “in peaceful, non-politicized spaces in which they can attain the highest level of human development,” he said.

      The agency operates 228 schools in Gaza, educating more than 200,000 Palestinian Authority Arab children.