The new director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini announced that the UN agency will examine its textbooks and school plans for inflammatory content against Israel, following the latter’s accusations.
Lazzarini confirmed that the decision comes in response to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Ardan, who vehemently attacked UNRWA claiming it: “Enables the establishment of an infrastructure for terrorism in its headquarters, and provides education with inflammatory content, in addition to its refusal to integrate refugees into the Palestinian Authority, and in the Arab countries.”
Lazzarini added that the UN agency will develop a program to examine the educational content taught in its schools, and a special report will be submitted to the heads of the agency with recommendations on the subject.
Israel often criticises UNRWA curricula as part of its campaign against the UN agency and the Palestinian refugees.
Several years ago, an Israeli research centre claimed that the curricula taught in UNRWA schools are prepared by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, and mainly rely on delegitimising Israel.
Three years ago, however, the Palestinians accused UNRWA of seeking to make changes related to national issues in the schools’ curricula, which it supervises in the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Authority had agreed with UNRWA that there would be no change to the curricula taught in UNRWA schools, and that any amendment to them would be made in full consultation with the Ministry of Education.