Norway has donated $6.3 million to the education sector in occupied East Jerusalem in support of its development, as part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Palestinian Minister of Education, Marwan Awartani, and Norway’s Representative in Palestine, Torunn Viste, along with UNDP Director-General, Yvonne Healy, signed the deal today in Ramallah, during which Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, was also in attendance.
The funding provided will be used to purchase and remodel a building to serve as a secondary school consisting of 12 classrooms for 350 girls. It will also go towards establishing 15 science, technology, engineering and mathematics laboratories, in addition to supporting extra-curricular programmes for 25 schools in Jerusalem.
Shtayyeh praised Norway for its aid, which he said, “is a “manifestation that Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory” and sends the clear message that Norway also considers Jerusalem an integral part of the Occupied Territory, in line with the United Nations resolutions and international law.
According to Wafa news agency, Viste stated that the deal aims to reinforce the resilience of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
She said, “Our engagement in this agreement emanates from our political commitment to the two-state solution and the state-building projects. It demonstrates our deep partnership with the Palestinian Authority.”
Moreover, Healy added that the UNDP signed the agreement out of its deep commitment to East Jerusalem, while stressing the importance of working on “the developments and also the general well-being of the population of East Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping East Jerusalem, now occupied by Israel, might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian State.