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EU says it will not study Palestinian school textbooks contradicting previous statements

Palestinian students sit inside a classroom at their school belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, on 29 August, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinian students seen at United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) school in Gaza on 29 August 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

EU said on Monday that it did not start study about the Palestinian school textbooks and there are no plans for such a probe, Maan news agency reported. However, this denial appears to contradict previous statements suggesting a planned study of textbooks.

The EU had said in a statement, updated on 25 April 2019, that "it can be confirmed that an academic study on Palestinian school textbooks is planned. Necessary funds have been reserved in the 2019 budget."

In the April statement, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said: "the study shall be carried out by an independent and internationally recognised research institute.

"Terms of Reference for the study are currently being prepared with a view to identifying possible incitement to hatred and violence and any possible lack of compliance with Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) standards of peace and tolerance in education."

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She added: "The study shall provide for a comprehensive analysis of the current Palestinian textbooks. The work on the study is indicatively scheduled to start in spring 2019."

The statement, she also said: "Incitement to violence is fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution and is greatly exacerbating mistrust between the communities, as already pointed out in the report of the Middle East Quartet of 1 July 2016. The EU has therefore repeatedly discussed this issue with the two parties."

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