US/World News

EU committee votes to freeze $17 million in Palestinian aid

(JTA) – A European Parliament committee voted to freeze more than $17 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority over incitement against Israel in its textbooks. The Budgetary Committee’s bill is an amendment to the European Union’s draft budget, which will go to a plenary vote in late October. If the budget passes, the EU will withhold the money from the Palestinian Authority until it commits to reforming its textbooks. The money represents 5 percent of EU aid to the Palestinians. The EU is the largest financial backer of the Palestinian Authority and the major financer of the Palestinian education system. The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, or IMPACT-se, said in a new report that its analysis of the new Palestinian textbooks for grades 1-12 aimed to encourage Palestinian children “to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion” and glorified martyrdom and violent resistance. According to The Jerusalem Post, the committee’s bill states that “The textbooks published by the PA in 2017, which are financed by the EU … contain, across all subjects, numerous examples of violent depictions, hate speech – in particular against Israel – and glorifications of jihad and martyrdom.”

CAP: Pupils gather in front of a school run by the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City on August 29, 2018, on the first day of classes after the summer holidays. (AFP PHOTO / Mahmud Hams)

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