The United Nations aid agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) said it is “taking steps” to address textbooks that glorify “martyrs” and that call for “jihad” in the school books they provided to students.
UNRWA released the statement on Thursday after a report was published one day prior by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School (IMPACT). The report stated that the text books were distributed to hundreds of thousands of students throughout the Palestinian Authority as well as Gaza. Some of the books labeled Israel as “Palestine” or completely erased the Jewish state from its maps of the Middle East.
One of the Arabic grammar text books features phrases such as “Jihad is one of the doors to Paradise.” Another one says that “The Palestinians are lions in fighting the enemies.” One book even features a poem talking about “a raging fire awaits the Occupation.” Meanwhile another reads that “The motherland is worthy of any kind of sacrifice” and “the Enemy [committed] heinous offences against … the mujahideen,” Arabic for anyone fighting against a jihad (Muslim holy war).
According to the report, a 9th-grade social studies text book accuses Israel of purposely polluting ‘Palestinian’ territories and spreading disease by dumping radioactive and toxic waste in their areas
UNRWA spokeswoman Tamara Alrifai told the JTA that these as well as other texts were “not in line with U.N. values” and that they were “mistakenly included” as the agency scrambled to provide students teaching aids during the corona lockdown. Alrifai added that UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, will soon establish a “self-learning platform.”
In November, Israel365 News reported that the UNRWA has run out of funding to pay the salaries of its staff across the Middle East.