Sara Stein

PA-UNRWA terror textbooks: Time for Israel to reclaim Gaza

Illustration from PA textbook: A girl smiling as “heretics” are burned (Source: IMPACT-se)

The massacre of 1400 Israelis on 7 October 2023 did not happen in a vacuum. From birth, Hamas terrorists are indoctrinated with hate, anti-semitism and training to kill. And if you think this indoctrination is only the domain of Hamas, but not regular Gazans or Palestinians, think again. 

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh refused to condemn the horrific onslaught, adding that “Israel is to blame for the situation.” Young and old Gazans cheered and applauded Israeli captives being paraded in the streets of Gaza, participated in their abuse, and plundered their homes. Within hours of the massacre at Kibbutz Beeri, while women, children and babies were being burned alive, over 100 Gazan citizens entered the kibbutz and ransacked it, stealing motorbikes and tractors, all documented by the kibbutz security cameras.

Even if the Israeli army were to eradicate the institutions of Hamas, the Gazan children of today would become tomorrow’s terrorists. Gaza is a breeding ground for terror. With a population of two million, they’ve been educated on a generational creed of hatred to murder Jews and wipe Israel off the map. They are not, and have never been, interested in a two-state solution. Their stated ambition is one state for themselves.

Terrorist training camps for Gazan children

So where do Gazans get their “education”? Every summer, thousands of Gazan children aged 8-17 participate in terrorist training summer camps that provide extensive military training. These children are students of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools. The aim of these camps? “to fight and die for jihad and annihilate the Jewish state.” Children attending these camps learn to view Israel and the United States as the devil, and participate in rituals of trampling and burning Israeli and American flags. Terrorist counselors teach children how to assemble and shoot automatic weapons of all kinds, including Kalashnikov rifles and M-16s, and train them in the tactics of armed guerilla warfare.

Systematic indoctrination and brainwashing are rampant. One UNRWA student said when interviewed, “We are trained and we practice jihad for the sake of Allah. We will become his martyrs.” One student shouted, “Jews go back to where you came from, or we’ll kill you.”

At the end of the summer terrorist training, each student receives a certificate of appreciation with a photo of them holding a weapon, attesting to the ”completion of weapons’ training and a readiness to fight the Jews.”

Girls and women also participated in an Islamic Jihad women’s summer program to show that terrorism is not a male-dominated system: “We as Palestinian mothers have no choice but to send our sons to the summer camps and imbue them with the love of Palestine and the love of jihad. Every woman among us should be a mother of a martyr or a sister of a martyr.”

What sort of people want their sons and daughters to die? Even animals have a survival instinct, but apparently these robotic killers do not.

Incite to war: PA schoolbooks taught by UNRWA teachers

The Hamas and Islamic terrorist summer camps are complemented by the PA curriculum at the UNRWA schools which these students attend. Both the teachers and the textbooks they use promote armed struggle to return to all of Israel and annihilate the Jewish state.

UNRWA has 400 schools in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Almost 60% of the UNRWA budget is allocated to education, whose aim is to indoctrinate young Palestinian students with hatred and anti-Israel propaganda. Basic arithmetic is taught from textbooks with exercises that go like this: “If there are 5 Jews and you kill 2, how many are left?”  

A UN agency, UNRWA is exclusively dedicated to “Palestinian refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict.” The UN excels in hypocrisy, and still refuses to recognize 850,000 Jews who in 1948 were murdered or expelled by Arab countries, which also plundered Jewish property. The Arabs in Gaza receive more money in the form of “humanitarian aid” than any other group on the planet. The main sponsors are the United States, Europe, the UN and other Arab countries. Instead of building infrastructure and schools, or investing in healthcare, the Gazans use this money to build tunnels and buy weapons to kill Israelis.

David Bedein, director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, has spent the last 37 years monitoring UNRWA education, and with Dr Arnon Groiss, has reviewed hundreds of schoolbooks used in UNRWA schools. They found that school textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and used by UNRWA systematically delegitimize and demonize the State of Israel, and encourage violence and war against Jews. It’s UNRWA policy to use local textbooks, even though these books contain crude anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic expressions. So with radical textbooks that are strongly hostile to Israel and the Jewish people, it’s time we woke up and realized that the PA is not a “moderate” group. If the PA is appointed to manage Gaza once Hamas falls, the PA will continue to groom Gazan and Palestinian children to become terrorists. It’s part of the PA curriculum.

The terrorists who brutally murdered 1400 Israelis were all products of hate-filled, anti-semitic indoctrination. The terrorists who murdered Lucy Dee and her two daughters in April 2023 were from the Askar UNRWA camp, and the products of an UNRWA-sponsored “education.” UNRWA embraces such murderers, and tows a consistent line with the PA, that provides a life-long salary for anyone who kills a Jew, with additional lifetime payouts for the murderer’s family if the killer dies as a shahid (martyr). 

If you still have doubts about the PA’s position towards Israel, just take a look at their school textbooks. In hundreds of textbooks published by the PA and also used in UNRWA schools for Grades 1-10, the PA openly encourages incitement, terrorism and ongoing violent struggle against Israel. 

De-legitimization of the State of Israel and the Jewish presence

There is not a single map in the entire corpus of PA textbooks in use today that shows the State of Israel, or even Tel Aviv. In each map of the Middle East region, the whole of Israel is replaced by “Palestine” as the sovereign state, more than seven million Jews who live in Israel “disappear” – including their cities and ancient history, and violent struggle is promoted as the means of realizing this Judenfrei ideal. Even the Jews’ holy places are presented as Muslim holy places usurped by the Jews (the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem). Numerous archaeological relics attesting to a Jewish historical presence in Israel are described as “fake.” Besides the delusional maps, the name “Israel” is not mentioned once in PA textbooks, and is replaced with the expression “Zionist occupation.”

So even though Israel is a recognized sovereign state which has been a member of the UN since 1949, the PA systematically erases Israel and Jewish history from all PA schoolbooks.

Massive demonization of both Israel and the Jews

PA textbooks present Jews as enemies of Islam since its inception: “Let us watch a video clip from the attached CD about the Jews’ attempt to kill God’s messenger [Muhammad].” Israel is depicted as an all-evil entity with exclusive responsibility for the Arab-Israeli conflict, while the Palestinians are portrayed as the ultimate victim. No objective information is given about Israel and the Jews that would balance this skewed picture even slightly. Nor is there any reference in these textbooks to the Jewish-Israeli individual as an ordinary human being. 

PA school textbooks demonically accuse Israel of cutting down trees, arresting school children, torturing them, and even setting loose wild boars into Palestinian fields. In this cited poem, the Jews are seen as the devil’s helpers: “Where are the horsemen [who will ride] towards Al-Aqsa [mosque] to liberate it from the fist of unbelief, from the Devil’s aides?”

When Israelis are demonized, it’s much easier for terrorists to perpetrate their barbaric acts with full conviction.

Absence of education for peace and coexistence with Israel

Instead of peace, PA books call for a violent struggle for “the liberation of Palestine,” including Israel’s pre-1967 territories. This struggle highlights religious elements, such as jihad, martyrdom (shahadah) and the call for the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, transforming a national struggle into a religious holy war.

Not a single PA textbook, including those used in UNRWA schools, advocates peace and coexistence with Israel, or hints at the possibility of solving the conflict peacefully. Having absorbed the fabricated atmosphere of a violent struggle, students are asked: “In your opinion, how can we work together for the liberation of our homeland Palestine from the occupying Zionists?”

After these PA textbooks delegitimize and demonize Israel so severely, Israel cannot be perceived as a partner for peaceful coexistence. Consequently, only one solution to the conflict is presented in all textbooks used in Palestinian schools, including UNRWA’s: violent struggle for the liberation of the whole of Palestine, which means total destruction of Israel. The latest PA schoolbooks describe the extermination of Israel’s surviving Jews after Palestine’s supposed liberation, and refer to the burning of Jews in a civilian bus attacked by Molotov cocktails as a “barbecue party.”

PA textbooks praise terrorists, and describe those killed as “martyrs.” One such “martyr,” Dalal al-Mughrabi, led the 1978 coastal road massacre where she and her fellow terrorists killed 35 Israelis, including children. The PA has glorified that operation, and especially Dalal al-Mughrabi, for years. She is a Palestinian national heroine, honored by schools and squares named after her, and celebrated as a role model in schoolbooks and teachers’ guides that were recently published by the Ramallah-based Curricula Center of the PA Ministry of Education. These books are also taught in UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza. In a grade 5 textbook about Arab heroes, Dalal al-Mughrabi is cited as an example of female empowerment. Students are asked to copy the following text in nice handwriting: “she ascended [to Heaven] as a martyr with eight of her group’s heroes, having inflicted on the occupation army a large number of killed and wounded.”

For the PA to publish and distribute textbooks with war indoctrination, and for UNRWA to teach them, is tantamount to active incitement to commit war crimes. The butchery committed on 7 October was worse than war crimes: it was pure and unadulterated evil.

Stop funding a PA curriculum of terror and hate

When it comes to “educating” Palestinian children, the PA promotes violence and terrorism in its textbooks, while UNRWA is a duplicitous partner that teaches these hate-filled materials throughout the 400 UNRWA schools in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, all under the cover of a “humanitarian mission.” 

The irony is that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has mandatory standards of “educating for tolerance, coexistence, peace, and non-violence,” and right under their nose, the PA publishes textbooks that are anti-semitic, deny the existence of the State of Israel, and glorify violence. And still the PA gets funding from UNRWA, the EU, and other donor nations.  As recently as May 2023, Germany donated 28 million euro to UNRWA projects. It’s high time that those funding and approving both PA schoolbooks and UNRWA’s dissemination realize they are aiding and abetting terrorism. 

Replant and rebuild

Jonathan Pollard warned about the potential risk posed by Palestinians in Gaza after the war: “The situation is just too dangerous, given the extreme anti-semitic indoctrination they’ve been subjected to over the years.” If the PA is left to rule Gaza, more hated-filled indoctrination will just give rise to new terrorist organizations, bent on destroying Israel. Given the venomous nature of PA education, future textbooks would undoubtedly sing the praises of Hamas and Islamic jihadist martyrs who committed their atrocities on 7 October 2023.

It’s patronizing to assume that the Gazan population is a “victim” of Hamas, when all the evidence indicates they actively subscribe to the same creed of terrorist evil. In a 2022 survey published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), 67% of Gazan respondents agreed to armed struggle to achieve Palestinian aims.

Israel will only have tangible everlasting security when there is Jewish settlement in all the land of Israel. It’s time to reclaim Jewish sovereignty over Gaza. We cannot let the PA control Gaza when they refuse to recognize Israel, and brainwash their youth to terrorize and destroy us.

If you believe in the Bible, Gaza was one of the 48 cities allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:47), and was conquered by the tribe of Judah around 1240 BCE (Judges 1:18). Over the years, Gaza’s Jewish presence has waxed and waned: from 145 BCE when Yonatan the Hasmonean reconquered Gaza, through to the 17th century when Rabbi Israel Najara was the chief rabbi of the Gazan Jewish community, until 2005, when 8000 Jewish citizens from Gush Katif were evicted from their homes as a sacrifice for “peace.” From 2005, not a single Jew has lived in Gaza.

It’s time to reinstate a large-scale Jewish presence in Gaza, and rebuild the destroyed communities of Gush Katif. Annexing Gaza as part of Israel will bolster Israel’s security, solve the housing shortage, and serve as a warning to Israel’s enemies: this is Israel’s promised homeland, and we’re here to stay.


Dr. Arnon Groiss (2023): Revealing Maps: The Palestinian Vision as Taught in PA Schools.

Dr. Arnon Groiss (2019): Summary of the Attitude to the Jewish-Israeli “Other” and to Peace in the Palestinian Authority Schoolbooks Including Those Ones in UNRWA Use.

Dr. Arnon Groiss (2018): Palestinian Authority textbooks: The attitude to Jews, Israel and peace.

About the Author
Originally from Australia, Sara Stein is Senior Technical Writer at DoControl, an Israeli hi-tech startup. She has written numerous articles and published a book on writing called Write to Succeed: Expressive and Practical Writing for High School and Beyond.
Related Topics
Related Posts