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February 13, 2014 11:43 am
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Hamas Slams UNRWA Curriculum for Not Teaching Terrorism

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Palestinian boys raise their hands in a school run by the UNRWA. Photo: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan.

The Hamas Ministry of Education has issued a statement strongly criticizing UNRWA’s curriculum for schools in Gaza, especially its unit on human rights, saying that it does not accurately reflect the Palestinian Arab culture of terrorism.

The statement says:

“We condemn the UNRWA printing and distribution of curricula in schools without the knowledge and without the approval of the ministry… [these approaches] do not fit with the culture of Palestinian society, and aims to brainwash Palestinian students and make them accept the Israeli occupation.”

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“This UNRWA curriculum intends to wipe out the culture of generations of Palestinian students from their homeland and their cause and [instead] entrench a culture of peaceful resistance as a solution to the conflict, and alienate students from the resistance.”

It goes on to accuse UNRWA’s curriculum of “serious and dangerous irregularities affecting Palestinian culture and Islamic values “‹”‹and components of society in general,” and it demands that UNRWA stop teaching this curriculum and to withdraw its books from schools. Hamas also called on all teachers to reject “the destructive teaching of these books, and not to make  hemselves a tool for polluting the minds of our dear students.”

The Hamas ministry stressed that UNRWA is obliged to obtain approval from the Ministry of Education for its curriculum. A source told Anatolia News Agency that UNRWA’s curriculum includes concepts that are “unacceptable,” such as the right of men and women to marry people from other religions, which contrasts with the teachings of Islamic law that prohibits women from marrying non-Muslims. Also problematic was the omission of Britain’s responsibility for the plight of the loss of Palestine in 1948, and its condemnation of terrorism against Israel.

Hamas created its own curriculum this year, and UNRWA traditionally uses the curriculum of the host country.

Hamas’ new curriculum includes paramilitary training for high school students.

UNRWA responded, saying that it had worked with Hamas to help design the curriculum and it stressed that it was very sensitive to Palestinian Arab culture. UNRWA categorically denied that is curriculum was “against the heritage and values “‹”‹of our people.”

UNRWA schools in Gaza were already teaching jihad, although they took down the websites that proved it after I exposed them. They have never commented on that story.

The UNRWA human rights curriculum has been targeted by Palestinian Arabs before, and there was special vitriol when there were rumors that UNRWA would mention the Holocaust. UNRWA denied that it would ever mention that Jews suffered in World War II in its schools.

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