By virtue of the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that was established in 1994, the latter assumed responsibility for the educational services in the areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including schoolbook publishing.
The PA Ministry of Education’s Curricula Center in Ramallah started publishing the books in 2000 and in 2016 the PA began a rewriting operation of most textbooks which lasted until 2018. Use of the PA schoolbooks is mandatory in all schools in the West Bank and Gaza, including those ones operated by UNRWA (which include grades 1-10 only). Studies conducted on the attitude of these books to the conflict have revealed three fundamentals:
- De-legitimization of Israel’s existence in the region, as well as the very presence in the country of its Jewish citizens, and even the denial of Jewish history and the existence of Jewish holy places there.
- Demonization of both Israel and the Jews.
- Call for a violent struggle instead of advocacy of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Following are representative examples expressing the delegitimization of the State of Israel’s existence. They were taken from the PA textbooks published in 2017 and currently used in UNRWA schools:
Israel is never presented as a sovereign state, neither on maps nor in texts, even within its pre-1967 borders. Rather, the whole country is described as Palestine. That Palestine, the territory of which covers Israel’s entire territory, is presented as the sovereign state in the region, instead of Israel.