Today’s Daily Mail reports that UK aid money is spent by the Palestinian Authority on textbooks that could incite violence against Israel.
In fact, no UK taxpayers’ money to the Palestinian Authority goes to schools or to fund education materials that incite violence. DFID support to the Palestinian Authority contributes to the salaries of vetted teachers and education public servants in the West Bank.
We have always been clear that we expect textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority to be academically rigorous and they must not incite racial hatred or violence under any circumstances.
The article also reports that a review of the textbooks has not yet been commissioned, when in fact DFID is planning to conduct a thorough assessment of the Palestinian curriculum and evidence. We hope to do this with other international partners, as a joint review will provide a rigorous analysis of Palestinian textbooks and a unified voice from the international community.
The review aims to be completed by September 2019 and if we find evidence of material which incites violence, we will take action.
The UK government strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement to violence. We have a regular dialogue with both the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel in which we reiterate the need for both sides to prepare their populations for peaceful coexistence, including by promoting a more positive portrayal of each other.
An essential aspect of our efforts to prepare the ground for a two state-solution is to support a stable Palestinian Authority which can act as an effective partner for peace with Israel.
DFID support to the public sector in the West Bank provides vital help to both the health and education sectors.
UK financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority this year has paid the salaries of up to 39,000 teachers, doctors, nurses, midwives and other health and education public servants in the West Bank. These staff have immunised up to 3,700 children and provided around 185,000 medical consultations annually; and educated around 24,000 young Palestinians.
Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and actions that could incite violence or hatred. We continue to urge them to uphold this principle.
The UK Government is working with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education and Higher Education to maintain the delivery of high quality education, including through its curriculum.