Yesterday, the Mail on Sunday published a report alleging that UK aid intended for public services has been misused by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to fund Palestinian schools named after Islamist terrorists, who are receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations annually to “openly promote terrorism” and “encourage pupils to see child killers as role models”.
The investigation identifies 24 schools named after Palestinian terrorists, including four schools named after the man responsible for the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, one after the founder of terrorist organisation Hamas, and one after Amin-al Husseini who helped Hitler recruit for the SS. Evidence was also found of widespread incitement against Israel and terrorists consistently martyred as heroes for children.
Britain is set to give up to £25 million in 2017 to the PA to fund the salaries of 30,000 officials in the West Bank health and education sector following a review into aid spending. In recent years, western donors have raised concerns about the misuse of aid to the PA, due to the PA’s continued practice of rewarding terrorist prisoners in Israeli prisons with monthly salaries. Additionally, Palestinian head teachers and educators have openly admitted to contravening British and European Union (EU) attempts to control the curriculum. Violations of the intended curriculum include the teaching of Jihad verses in the Koran, overtly political study aids for pupils, denial of Israel’s existence and promotion of teenage attackers.
The Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that one senior teacher from a prominent West Bank school, when asked what he would say to a student threatening to attack Israelis, said that “I would tell them go in the name of God”. Nabil Samara, a head teacher of a public school with 850 pupils who has been imprisoned twice, reportedly said: “As long as the occupation continues it is impossible for us not to be inciting violence. The donor countries put in their rules but if I am teaching students about the love of Palestine, I have to teach them about the importance of resisting the occupation”.
The article identifies sports events, such as football tournaments, named after teenage terrorists, and plays put on at schools and summer camps staging mock ‘executions’ of Israeli soldiers, which had been published on Facebook. The Palestinian Ministry of Education has also planted trees in commemoration of terrorists killed in “the ongoing popular uprising”, honouring “martyrs” to “strengthen the sense of belonging to the land”.
The review of UK aid to the Palestinians came after concerns were raised by numerous Conservative MPs and highly publicised reports in the Mail on Sunday last year about the Palestinian Authority’s misappropriation of foreign aid from its fungible general budget to fund the salaries of Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism. The report also found British aid funding salaries for thousands of civil servants who had not worked for nearly a decade, with UK monthly payments only being stopped three months ago.
However, the latest report alleges that “terrorists and their families are still being paid £246 million a year”, with prisoners continuing to be rewarded based on the severity of the act of terror they commit. These monthly salaries are paid to around 5,500 convicted terrorists, ranging from £230 to as much as £2,000 for those serving a 30-year sentence.
In an address to CFI’s Parliamentary Reception in January 2017, Secretary of State for International Development (DfID) Priti Patel pledged to “root out” abuses of UK aid in the Palestinian Territories.
The International Development Secretary underlined: “I’m rooting out abuse in the system to ensure that that money is spent in the right way, and I have no hesitation whatsoever in ensuring that projects that are not doing what they should be doing in making sure that resources go to the right people, are absolutely dealt with”.
Ms Patel also pledged to support coexistence projects bringing Israelis and Palestinians together, and will be announcing further details next month.
Conservative MPs expressed their concern over the report’s revelations, with David Davies, MP for Monmouth, stating: “This needs to be thoroughly investigated. I do have concerns about the way money is spent in the West Bank and I think those concerns would be shared by Priti Patel – the International Development Secretary – and I very much hope this is the next thing we turn to”.
Andrew Percy MP added: “I’ve repeatedly raised the issue of the hate education, which is poisoning young Palestinians’ minds and we should be spending money on reconciliation”.
A DfID spokesperson said that “denying young people an education would leave them more vulnerable to extremism”, and said that DfID “Ministers had announced UK support for new co-existence projects in Israel and the Occupied Territories”.
Click here to read the full report in the Mail on Sunday.