UNESCO chair at Gaza University angers Israel

By IAN DEITCH | July 12, 2012 | 1:38 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has condemned UNESCO's decision to establish a chair at the Islamic University of Gaza, calling the institution "a breeding ground for terrorists."

Israel's foreign ministry said Thursday that "(Palestinian militant group) Hamas uses Gaza University laboratories to develop and produce explosives and rockets and has even run a course on explosive making."

Gaza militants often bomb southern Israel with mortars and rockets.

Israel, the US, EU and others consider Gaza's Hamas rulers a terror group because of their suicide bombings and attacks on civilians that kill hundreds.

UNESCO said the chair is to promote astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences.

Earlier this month, it approved Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity as an endangered site. The U.S. and Israel dismissed the move as cynical politicization of the cultural body.