PA: Israel Faked Information regarding EU Funding of Palestinian School Curriculum

Zahwat al-Quds school was reportedly targeted because the staff refused to teach Israeli curriculum. (Photo: via Al Jazeera]

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestinian Ministry of Education denied reports that the European Union (EU) decided to suspend funds allotted for school curriculum, saying there is no change in EU policy in this regard.

“These reports originated in Israel and that they were baseless,” the ministry said in a statement.

After contacting the Foreign Ministry and Palestine’s ambassador to the EU, it was found that Israel attempted to distort information from an annual regular meeting held since 2013 for an EU committee that reviews the EU budget, according to the statement.

Israeli media reports claimed that the European Parliament adopted a bill introduced by the Committee on Budgetary Control and related to funds allocated for Palestinian education. An Israeli organization assisted in formulating the bill.

The ministry recently refused attempts to change Palestinian curriculum in East Jerusalem by offering amended textbooks with a curriculum that promotes the Israeli narrative of the 70-year-old conflict.

Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem has long bypassed the encroachment over land to that of Palestinian education. Last year, the Israeli government approved a plan to provide financial incentives to East Jerusalem schools to switch to the Israeli school curriculum.

Under the plan, funding could be tripled per pupil at the schools opting for the Israeli curriculum, an Education Ministry source explained.

The PA condemned the school curriculum plan, pushed forward by Israel’s far-right Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, saying that it aimed to impose the Israeli narrative on the younger Palestinian generation at the detriment of their Palestinian history and understanding of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Israeli authorities have for years neglected the education system in East Jerusalem,” said Nisreen Alyan, Head of the Jerusalem Program at The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), in an interview with Reuters.
“While it is the first time the government and municipality see a need to close the gaps in East Jerusalem, the program is designed according to a political agenda,” she added.

(PC, Reuters, Al Jazeera)

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