The Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet has agreed to amend the educational curriculum in Palestinian schools on Monday, following pressure from the European Union and national European governments.
PA Education Minister Prof. Marwan Awartani provided a detailed report to a Cabinet meeting on the new proposed curricula and plans for their development, which emphasized the need for the "preservation and protection of the curricula as based in a sovereign Palestinian matter... as they relate to the Palestinian narrative and identity, and the strategic directions of the state, including the Declaration of Independence," according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.
An Arabic-language briefing on the council's website about the meeting stressed that any developments of the curricula would be an "independent Palestinian national decision."
The PA's decision comes less than a week after the European Parliament passed a resolution criticizing "problematic materials" in Palestinian textbooks.
The European Union first announced last year it will scrutinize new Palestinian textbooks for content that incites hate and violence, out of concern that EU aid funds are being used to promote hatred.
The announcement followed an investigation and campaign by Israeli-based NGO IMPACT-se (Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education), which has been highly critical of the content in Palestinian textbooks.
CEO Marcus Sheff welcomed the Palestinian decision but warned that it may just as well be a facade to distract donor states.
news, but sounded words of caution, "The question remains as to whether we will see the change in the textbooks that the donor countries are demanding and Palestinian schoolchildren need, or whether it is a further tactic to appease European donor states and play for time," quoted in the Post.
The Palestinian curriculum has frequently been criticized for rabid anti-Semitism, glorifying martyrdom, erasing mention of peace agreements, and wiping Israel off the map.