The United Nations is to include the Holocaust in a new curriculum for schools attended by children in Gaza despite protests by the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers.
Published: 11:35AM BST 05 Oct 2009
A UN agency is producing a human rights curriculum which is to be proposed for inclusion in the studies of secondary school pupils. It is to be discussed with the local community within weeks.
At least one senior UN official in Gaza has said he is confident the Holocaust will become part of the curriculum adopted by local schools.
There is intense opposition from Hamas hardliners however.
Yunis al Astal, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, is reported to have said that including the details of the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis in school teaching would be "marketing a lie". Those responsible for teaching the Holocaust would be committing a "war crime", he added.
The UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinians living in grim conditions in Gaza while governed by Hamas and under a tight Israeli blockade, insists that teaching the Holocaust to local children will help them understand the need for human rights. It will also help them to understand propaganda and "anti-semitic rhetoric".