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January 30, 2023 1:38 pm

‘Mother, You’re Going to Be Proud of Me’: 13-Year-Old Palestinian Terrorist Foreshadowed Attack in School Notebook


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Illustrative Security and rescue forces work at the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A 13-year-old Palestinian terrorist who shot and severely wounded two Israelis near the City of David on Sunday wrote a message in his school notebook that foreshadowed the violence he would later commit, according to Hebrew and Arab language media reports.

“God, or victory, or martyrdom,” wrote Muhammad Aliwat. “Forgive me, mother, you’re going to be proud of me.”

Aliwat was heavily influenced by antisemitic and inciting material found in textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority and used by his school, the Al-Furqan Islamic School for Boys in the Shuafat refugee camp, which is located in the West Bank, according to Impact-se, an Israeli education watchdog which studies Palestinian education and the ways it fosters antisemitism and encourages terrorism.

In one instance, teachers at the school instructed Aliwat in reading comprehension by assigning him a story in which Palestinians “cut the necks of enemy soldiers,” “wore explosive belts,” and fatally shot Israeli soldiers.

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In another lesson, he was taught that martyrdom is “obligatory,” and in biology class was once asked to explain “the effects of a violent clash with the IDF on bodily organs.”

“Countries that condemned this weekend’s terror attacks are some of the biggest donors to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA,” Impact-se CEO Marcus Sheff told The Algemeiner. “The majority of that funding goes to the education system. When exactly will the penny drop for them that there is a direct, clear, and unavoidable line between the teaching of violence and acting it out to tragic effect in the real world?”

Across the Palestinian territories, experts told The Algemeiner in January, study cards for eleventh graders accuse Jews of being “in control of global events through financial power,” seventh graders are instructed to describe Israeli soldiers as “Satan’s aides” in a textbook chapter imploring Muslims to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and children are taught literature saying, for example: “Give me a Kalashnikov, an [M-] 14, an axe and a knife.”

The problem is well documented, widely studied, and reported on, yet little has changed despite widespread outrage over it and a consensus that it is contributing to prolonging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Similar content is also featured in materials produced for students in Gaza by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which received over $511.5 million in funding from the European Union and United States in 2021. In May, the EU announced that it would contribute $266 million to the agency through 2024.

Follow reporter Dion J. Pierre at @DionJPierre.

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