At a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to present proof of anti-Israel incitement in summer camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian children in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Videos show counselors at a UNRWA camp telling campers that the Israeli cities of Acre and Haifa will soon return to Arab hands and that all means of fighting Israel are legitimate, including jihad.
“We teach the children which cities and villages their ancestors were expelled from. They learn the names of the villages, not just Jerusalem. This is how we give them motivation to return to their original villages in every way,” the head of a UNRWA camp in Gaza says in one video clip.
At a UNRWA camp in Nablus, a counselor is seen telling campers, “We want to return to Jaffa, Acre, Nazareth and Haifa.” The children respond, “We will fight, and with the help of Allah and our strength, we will return to our villages. With the help of jihad, we will return home.”
On Thursday, Ban met with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. On Friday, Ban met with Netanyahu, as well as other top Israeli officials, including President Shimon Peres, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich. He was also to lay a wreath at the grave of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Mount Herzl.
After meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, Ban said he was “deeply troubled” by Israeli settlement activity.
“Settlement activity is a deepening the Palestinian people’s mistrust in the seriousness on the Israeli side toward achieving a peace,” Ban said. “It will ultimately render a two-state solution impossible.”
After the most recent meeting of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Wednesday in Jerusalem (which was described by both sides as “serious”), another round of talks will be held soon, either in Jericho or Ramallah.
Meanwhile, in response to an appeal filed by families of dead Palestinian terrorists buried in Israel, the state told the High Court of Justice on Thursday that, in accordance with an order from Ya’alon based on a decision made by past political leaders, Israel was planning to return the bodies to the Palestinians. The Prime Minister’s Office said this had no connection to the renewed negotiations.
According to Israeli diplomatic officials, the move was delayed due to difficulties in identifying 18 of the bodies, which had caused Abbas to say he was not interested in their return.