The Palestinian Authority (PA) Education Ministry announced that it was cutting ties with United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) until further notice over proposals to change the Palestinian school curriculum on Thursday.
The PA stated that the suspension will continue until “positions are corrected”, labelling the changes as “an affront to the Palestinian people, its history and struggles”.
Proposed changes to the curriculum included revisions of the map of “historic Palestine” to exclude references to cities within Israel as Palestinian cities – a phenomenon that numerous studies of Palestinian textbooks have labelled as “incitement”.
Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), who are responsible for implementing civil and humanitarian policy in the West Bank and Gaza, reported in March that reforming the UNRWA curriculum “is a balanced representation of Jerusalem as having religious significance to the three major monotheistic religions”.
The report continued: “UNRWA additionally sought to amend textbooks in cases where the content showing gender bias, lacked objectivity and incited violence against Israel”. UNWRA has over 312,000 students in schools across the West Bank, 50,000 in East Jerusalem and 262,000 students in the Gaza Strip.