Hamas slams Palestinian official´s visit to Auschwitz (ISRAEL HAYOM) Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff 08/02/12)
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Hamas says the visit to site of "false Zionist alleged tragedy"
served "only the Zionist occupation" • Upon arrival, adviser to
Paelstinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lays a wreath on
concentration camp grounds in respect for the victims.
Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas, recently visited the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp
in Poland, where 1.5 million people were killed during the Holocaust.
Bandak´s visit constituted a rare recognition of the Holocaust by a
The opposing Hamas party, which rules the Gaza Strip, was outraged by
the Bandak´s visit. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: "It was an
unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist
occupation." Barhoum continued by calling into question the scope of
the Holocaust, saying the visit was "a marketing of a false Zionist
The EU, the U.S., Canada, Israel and Japan classify Hamas as a
terrorist organization. Its strategies have included rocket attacks
and suicide bombings.
Abbas´ adviser placed a wreath on the grounds at Auschwitz as a sign
of respect for the people exterminated there during WWII, most of
whom were Jews. Officials from other Muslim countries have made
similar gestures in the past.
Hamas has repeatedly rejected Israel´s right to exist and does not
recognize peace agreements reached between Israel and the PA. Hamas
has also rejected the existence of the Holocaust, calling it "a lie
invented by the Zionists." It reportedly has not allowed the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency, which established schools in Gaza,
to teach children about the Holocaust in their history classes.
Certain extreme sectors within Palestinian society feel that
acknowledging the tragedy of the Holocaust would distract from the
occupation. Accordingly, Barhoum said the official visit to Auschwitz
came "at the expense of a real Palestinian tragedy." Hamas´ denial of
the Holocaust has been encouraged by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust "a myth."
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