Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hamas Chief Denies Nazi Holocaust of Jews

"A Hamas spiritual leader on Monday called teaching Palestinian children about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews a "war crime," rejecting a suggestion that the U.N. might include the Holocaust in Gaza's school curriculum.

A senior Israeli official said such statements should make the West think twice about ending its boycott of Hamas, in place since the group seized Gaza by force in 2007. Israeli officials called the comments as "obscene" and said they place Hamas in a pariah club of Holocaust deniers that includes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hamas spiritual leader Younis al-Astal lashed out after hearing that the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. body aiding Palestinian refugees, planned to introduce lessons about the Holocaust to Gaza students.

Adding the Holocaust to the curriculum would amount to "marketing a lie and spreading it," al-Astal wrote in a statement.

"I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies," he wrote.

A U.N. official said no decision has been made about introducing Holocaust education in Gaza.

Many Palestinians are reluctant to acknowledge Jewish suffering, fearing it might diminish their own. Attitudes toward the Holocaust range from outright denial to challenging its scope. "

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