This week, five Conservative MPs raised their concerns over Palestinian Authority-sanctioned incitement in a series of written parliamentary questions on the subject. In response, Middle East Minister Rt. Hon. James Cleverly MP expressed his “deep concern” over allegations of incitement, emphasising that the UK has been “at the forefront of international action” in addressing this issue.
The newly elected MP for Heywood and Middleton, Chris Clarkson MP, asked the Government what representations have been made recently to the Palestinian Authority “on reports that 31 schools are named after Palestinian terrorists”. Conservative MP Chris Green also raised this issue, noting that three Palestinian Authority schools are “named after Nazi collaborators”.
Jonathan Gullis MP, who recently led a debate in Parliament on radicalisation in the Palestinian school curriculum, asked the Secretary of State for International Development “what recent assessment she has made of the compliance with Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the reported use of Palestinian Authority school textbooks containing antisemitic and extremist content”.
20 Conservative MPs were in attendance in the debate earlier this month, highlighting concerns about the content of the textbooks which contain incitement of hatred, martyrdom, and violence towards Israelis.
Conservative MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton, pressed the Government on this issue, asking the Foreign Secretary “what recent discussions he has had with the Palestinian Authority on the removal and replacement of textbooks from schools in the Palestinian Territories as a result of reports of antisemitic and extremist content in those books”.
Jack Lopresti MP similarly urged the International Development Secretary to look into this issue, asking “what recent discussions she has had with her Norwegian counterpart on that country’s decision in 2019 to withhold funding to the Palestinian Authority if extremist content is not removed by the Palestinian Authority’s school curriculum”.
In response, the Middle East Minister underlined that the UK Government is “deeply concerned about the allegations of incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s school textbooks”.
He added: “The UK has been at the forefront of international action to get to the bottom of the allegations. We funded work to develop the methodology for an independent textbook Review sponsored by our European partners. We expect an interim report in June, with a full report later in the year. The UK has regular discussions with our European partners on the Review”.
On the issue of schools named after terrorists, the Minister said that the UK has “raised our concerns about school naming at senior levels within the Palestinian Authority and will continue to do so”.