TEL AVIV – Twenty-four Palestinian Authority schools funded by the UK and EU are reportedly in flagrant violation of demands that foreign aid be cut if the schools do not put an end to the promotion of violence against Israelis.
An investigation by Britain’s Mail on Sunday found that all 24 of the schools, named after Palestinian terrorists, continued to glorify “martyrs” responsible for the murder of Israelis and were actively encouraging Palestinian schoolchildren to carry out attacks.
Last year, the paper caused a public outcry by publishing an expose about how British taxpayers’ money was going towards the salaries of convicted terrorists and their families. The investigation, which the paper said was part of a “long-running campaign against the Government’s commitment to foreign aid which is set to reach £12 billion,” also revealed that British aid was funding the salaries of thousands of civil servants who had not worked for close to a decade.
The latest report charged the schools in question have been continuing to incite students to violence, with one teacher openly admitting that he “would tell [pupils] to go in the name of God” to carry out attacks against Israelis. The schools have reportedly disregarded any attempts to revise the curriculum by Western countries that provide aid, preferring to indoctrinate children with textbooks that call for violence and deny the existence of Israel.
The report cited MP Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel – for which a report was prepared by Jerusalem-based research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) — who said that though she supports sending aid to the Palestinians, British ministers must insist that the PA education system adheres to the terms of the funding agreements.
“We cannot stand idly by while the Palestinian Authority sanctions antisemitic incitement which poisons young minds and makes a two-state solution ever more difficult to achieve,” Ryan said.
The EU, which gets one-tenth of its aid budget from the UK, is donating £272 million to the PA this year, a sum the EU claims is carefully monitored.
An EU spokesperson claimed: “All funds the EU allocates to the PA for salaries, pensions and social allocations go through an elaborate system of rigorous verification procedures.”
However, the teachers themselves admitted to the paper that PA leaders promise to cease incitement “just to get through the vetting process” and are fully aware that school principals and educators have no intention of following through on that promise.
Four of the 24 schools are named after the mastermind behind the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre that claimed the lives of 11 Israeli athletes, one after the founder of Hamas and one after Amin al-Husseini, the infamous Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who backed Hitler during WWII and helped recruit for the SS. Another three are named after Dalal Mughrabi, the woman behind the most lethal terrorist attack in Israel’s history, a 1978 bus hijacking which left 37 people dead, including 12 children.
An education official in Hebron told the Mail that Israel’s “occupation” meant that, “We do not consider [Mughrabi] a child killer.”
“Where is the problem in calling schools after such martyrs?” he asked.
PMW director Itamar Marcus told the Mail that the PA is engaging in “child abuse.”
“Britain and the European Union bear responsibility for this terror when they are funding a school system that is actively promoting, and thereby creating, terrorism,” he said.
“This is simply child abuse, encouraging kids to die in armed struggle. It is a terrible message for the next generation. Children are the key to peace, but look at what they are being exposed to from a young age, growing up in an environment of terror and told the killing of Israelis is a heroic action.”