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Australia said probing UNRWA over textbooks glorifying terror against Israel

Australia is looking into the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees, after a report revealed school materials it produced contained incitement to violence and hatred, and glorified terrorism.

The country’s Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs tells The Australian it is “making further inquiries into this matter.”

It says the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) “has a fundamental obligation to remain unbiased and impartial while it delivers its humanitarian mandate.”

Last week the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an Israeli watchdog that analyzes Palestinian textbooks, found UNRWA-produced material “to be rife with problematic content that contradicts stated UN values.”

Palestinian schoolchildren studying at an UNRWA school in Gaza City. (IRIN/Creative Commons via JTA)

The watchdog found that children were asked to do mathematics problems using martyrs from the First Intifada to calculate equations, told students to “defend the motherland with blood,” and pushed the claim that Israel deliberately dumps radioactive and toxic waste in the West Bank.

IMPACT-se also said that Israel is omitted from maps in the UNRWA-produced materials, with the entire territory being labeled as a modern-day Palestine with no demarcation lines. When it is mentioned, Israel is referred to mostly as “The Enemy” or the “Zionist Occupation.”

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