“I am ready to carry out a suicide attack”, a student at a UNRWA school in East Jerusalem says in a video filmed in 2022 by the Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research. Another student says that “we have to fight the Jews to prove that we are stronger than them.”
The Ynet news site quoted the English translation of the students statements, such as “stabbing and trampling Jews brings respect to the Palestinians,” “I am ready to carry out a suicide attack,” and “we are taught that the Jews kill our children. I will stab and run over them.” One of the students says that “we are taught that Al-Aqsa and all of Palestine is ours,” and another shares that “we are taught that the Jews are terrorists.”
David Bedein, director of the research institute that has been dealing with UNRWA and the Palestinians since 1987, notes: “In the textbooks of UNRWA students in the Shuafat refugee camp, there are pictures praising murderers who committed terrorist acts and killed many Israelis used as role models.”
Following publication of the video, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem and the chairman of the United party, Aryeh King, contacted the chairman of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), Ifat Ovadia-Luski. The UNRWA school in question was established on land owned by JNF, and King demanded that the school be vacated.
In an appeal to Luski, he wrote that the expectation was that the area would be used for the benefit of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, but in reality the UNRWA school was established “where, according to the evidence, they teach hatred of Jews and incite against the State of Israel.”
The JNF stated in response that “in accordance with the Israel Land Authority law and in accordance with the agreement between the state and the JNF, the Israel Land Authority manages JNF lands. Any information regarding the owners and/or encroachers of the land and how their treatment should be addressed to the Israel Land Authority.”
On Tuesday, the Knesset held a joint discussion with the Education Committee and the Committee of Children’s Rights to mark the International Day of Education, in which the lawmakers spoke about antisemitic content taught in the Palestinian education system. It was decided that there would be strict supervision in educational institutions in East Jerusalem.
“It’s crazy that the 11th and 12th grades are given textbooks with antisemitic content and incitement against the state,” he said. The members of the committees called for the removal of antisemitic content from Palestinian education plans and sharply criticized the United Nations and UNESCO “for not doing anything against the Palestinian education industry that teaches jihad, the demonization of Jews and Israelis, and delegitimization of the State of Israel.”
On Friday and Saturday, UNRWA faced an uproar when nine contributing countries decided to freeze funding that was intended for the organization despite the commissioner-general’s announcement of an investigation into the allegations that some of the agency’s employees were involved in the murderous terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, and of the termination of employment of some of those employees.
In a separate development, a protest was held this week outside UNRWA’s offices in Jerusalem, located in the Jewish neighborhood of Maalot Dafna. Demonstrators, including bereaved families and families of Hamas hostages, demanded that in light of the organization’s proven record of terror support, its offices should be closed and its activities in Jerusalem should be terminated.
The protest was initiated by Aryeh King, who said that “for years I have been begging Israeli governments to remove this body from Jerusalem, even before the massacre in the south and the war. Their school books don’t have Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon, only Arab cities because they don’t want to see one Jew here. They took over Jewish properties in Kfar Akeb in East Jerusalem, properties donated by Canadian Jews to the JNF and built a mosque, a country club, a school and a monument for terrorists. They are criminals , so why do we give them water and electricity? Are we suicidal?”
King added that “Instead of this anti-Israel organization having a huge presence in West Jerusalem, we need to build here a neighborhood for soldiers who fought in Gaza, for wounded or kidnapped soldiers, schools and parks. I call on the state of Israel to wake up and evacuate the Hamas UNWRA from Jerusalem, so we won’t see this antisemitic organization here again.”