In a feature that ran on the AP wire on January 6, 2019, entitled “Middle East education payments ‘funding terrorist propaganda’…” it was confirmed that “Switzerland is looking into reports that foreign aid payments are being used to glamorize Palestinian terrorists in Middle East schools. The complaints focused around UNRWA, which hads been criticised in the past by the Swiss foreign minister.
According to AP, “the Sonntagszeitung newspaper has unearthed evidence that UNRWA money directed at educational projects is funding school material that praises so-called Islamic martyrs. Switzerland is one of the largest contributors to UNRWA, giving some CHF27 million ($27.4 million) to the agency last year. It is headed by Swiss national Pierre Krähenbühl.
AP reports thast he Swiss foreign ministry is investigating these allegations, along with the European Union, Britain and Finland
“School materials that run counter to the spirit of a two-state solution, glorify violence, incite racism and anti-semitism or trivialise violations of international law and human rights are not in keeping with the Swiss Middle East position,” a spokeswoman of the Swiss government told the Sonntagszeitung newspaper
The UNRWA operates 711 schools in the Middle East.
Last year, Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis sparked controversy when he said the UNRWA had become part of the Middle East problem by shielding millions of Palestinian refugees in camps that prevented them from integrating into neighboring countries.
Studies revealing the current directions in UNRWA schools have been published by the Center for Near East Policy Research, based in the US and in Israel.