UNRWA Schools and the Kalandia Scrapbook
Does Incitement Exist?
On August 5, 2001, Ali Ibrahim Abed el Rahman Aljulani drove to the corners of Kaplan Street and Petach Tikvah Rd, a major intersection in the heart of Tel Aviv. Upon his arrival, he deliberately opened fire at passers-by, injuring ten people before being stopped by Israeli security guards. The 'Al Aksa Martyr's Brigade' claimed responsibility for the attack.
Much has been said and written about the role of incitement and the glorification of violence in the Middle East. During recent operations, the IDF found further evidence of such Palestinian incitement against the existence of the State of Israel, and the praise of those who have chosen violence as a means towards achieving their goals.
One such document is particularly disturbing for a number of reasons. The document is a young teenager's notebook, created in the Kalandia Refugee Camp. Kalandia is situated just north of Jerusalem and the school is sponsored and managed by the United Nations. The subject was a report on residents of Kalandia, such as Ajulani, that had been killed during the recent surge of Palestinian violence. The student chose to focus on members of Fatah and the El Aksa Martyr's Brigade, the military wing of Yasir Arafat's Fatah party.
Two elements of this young student's report are extremely revealing:
Instead, what was discovered was that terms, such as 'shahid' (the martyr), 'Fada'i' (who endangers his life in the name of Allah), 'Istishh'ad' (dying for the glorification of Allah), while mostly referring to suicide acts, and also 'Jihad' (Holy war) - are all being deeply ingrained in next generation of Palestinians. This lengthy process of indoctrination starts at nursery school level and continues right through to college and university.
Cover of an UNRWA schoolbook, containing a Kalandia Refugee Camp pupil's notebook about camp residents killed during the Intifada. It relates to members of Fatah and the El Aksa Martyrs' Brigade who died. The poster on the cover page is of Omar Wahadan Abu Elmajd, who was killed in an exchange of fire with IDF forces in the Ramallah area on January 21, 2002. The caption reads: "Star Team: The Fallen of the Refugee Camp Kalandia-Jerusalem."
Among material recently found by the IDF was a notebook a young pupil, which clearly demonstrates the results of indoctrination, whether from the school or home environment. The notebook was entitled "Star Team: The Fallen of the Refugee Camp Kalandia-Jerusalem."
The aim of this work appears to be the glorification of the memories of members of Fatah / El Aksa Brigade from the Kalandia refugee camp, killed during the violent events in the current Palestinian uprising. It includes words of praise for those killed, their photographs, posters on which they appear, Fatah emblems, the Palestinian flag and photographs of armed Israeli soldiers. No date appears in the notebook but the project refers to those killed in the years 2001 and 2002. While there are no details about the author of the project, based on where it was discovered, it is reasonable to assume that the work was performed by a teenage girl from the senior classes of a primary school or from a junior high school, estimated to be 12-14 years old.
The project contains multiple expressions of glorification of and praise for the names and the actions of those killed. It sets those who committed violent acts and died during these attacks as role models for young Palestinians. The notebook is also filled with solid propaganda concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An example of this can be seen in the following excerpts taken from the project:
It is important to recall that the notebook was used in an UNRWA-run school, possibly even supplied by the institution itself. The back cover carries UNRWA's emblem and the word 'UNRWA' is covered by an image of an armed, masked terrorist, shooting from a kneeling position. There have been many other documented incidences of UNRWA schools serving as an incubator for incitement and hate against Israel in refugee camps. They act to maintain the growing level violence in future generations of Palestinian youth.
[Left] Sample page from the Notebook: Photograph appearing on the page dedicated to the memory of Aljulani. "Ali Ibrahim Aljulani died a martyr's death on 5 August, 2001" Page dedicated to Ali Aljulani
Following is a direct translation of a page of the notebook from the UNRWA sponsored school in the Kalandia Refugee Camp.
Left: The back cover of the notebook. Image of a kneeling masked gunman pasted over the word UNRWA
Left: The back cover of the notebook (without the photo of the masked gunman) with the UNRWA emblem. The handwritten words are 'Palestine", 'Fatah The Revolution' and 'Jerusalem is ours'.