Mastermind of October 7 quoted in UK classroom materials

Education Secretary launches review into school resource that asks children to consider justifying actions of Hamas


Pupils in an unnamed British secondary school were asked to decide if the Hamas attack on October 7 was “fair.”

The lesson resource, shared first on Mumsnet and then on Twitter/X, also quoted Hamas leader Mohammed Deif, who masterminded the atrocities along with Yahya Sinwar.

The Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said she was “horrified” by the resource.

On Thursday, a concerned Mumsnet user shared evidence of lessons given to her child in a British school which “invited students to justify terrorism”.

The now-deleted thread included photos of a printed slideshow.

Mohammed Deif, a senior Hamas figure, was referred to in the printout as “the leader of the Palestinian militant group” who “had decided to say ‘enough is enough’” when he launched the October 7 attack.

Deif was responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis in suicide attacks and is believed to have jointly planned the October 7 atrocities.

The resources said that “Hamas fighters launched an attack on Israel. They killed some and took hostages.” Pupils were asked what their “reaction” was to this information.

The number of murdered civilians and hostages was not included.

In the resource, Hamas is described as “a democratically elected party”.

The resource explains that Hamas is “considered by the UK government to be extreme / terrorist organisation”. It goes on to cast doubt on this, as “the UK are close political allies of Israel”.

Other slides include comparative maps from 1917-1995 show the erosion of Palestinian territory but do not suggest any Jewish history in the region before 1917.

The are several instances of the Hamas flag on the slides. Showing support for Hamas, a proscribed terrorist group is illegal.

This presentation followed a series of assemblies and other lessons about the conflict.

In her Mumsnet post, the mother described her son coming home from school talking about “how terrible Israel is” and she had tried to “open his mind to a more balanced view.”

The mother, who is not Jewish, described the resource as portraying “a very one-sided picture of Israel persecuting the Palestinians for no reason.”

She said: “There are 11 slides on Israel taking over land and the subsequent suffering of the Palestinians. By contrast, there’s one line on the Holocaust and two lines on the 7th October attacks”.

Mumsnet is an anonymous forum and posts are deleted when the anonymity of users is threatened. A spokesperson for Mumsnet told the JC that the post was deleted at the request of the original poster.

On X/Twitter, the education secretary said: “Hamas are terrorists. Their actions are indefensible and anyone encouraging support for them should feel the full force of the law.

“Extremism has no place in education and I have launched an urgent review into this case.”

Attention has been drawn to UK schools and their handling of the war in Gaza since pupils missed school to attend anti-Israel rallies.

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