PMW Bulletins
PA schools named after terrorists by PA Ministry of Education
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PA schools named after terrorists
by PA Ministry of Education

 
Dozens of schools in the PA are named after terrorists
who have murdered civilians
 
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
Dozens of Palestinian schools are named after terrorist murderers. The official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA now reports that the naming of state schools "is under the authority" of the PA Minister of Education. [WAFA, Aug. 25, 2015] "The naming of schools and changes are the responsibility of the Minister of Education, by a direct decision of the Ministry or the Name Committee," the independent news agency Ma'an added. Palestinian Media Watch documented 25 schools named after terrorists in its recent report Palestinian Authority Education: A Recipe for Hate and Terror.
 
Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi:
Three Palestinian Authority schools are named after Dalal Mughrabi - the terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, known as the Coastal Road massacre. She and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70, in 1978.
 
Terrorist Shadia Abu Ghazaleh:
Two Palestinian Authority schools are named after Shadia Abu Ghazaleh - a terrorist who was active in the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror organization and involved in many attacks against Israel. While she was preparing a bomb for an attack in Tel Aviv in 1968, it accidentally detonated and killed her.
 
Terrorist Abu Jihad:
Three Palestinian Authority schools are named after Abu Jihad - a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and also planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks. These attacks, which killed a total of 125 Israelis, included the most lethal in Israel's history cited above.
 
These are just three of the many terrorist murderers who have been turned into role models by the PA by naming dozens of schools after them. The PA is responsible for the naming of these schools and has the potential to change these names and stop this promotion and glorification of terror which Palestinian children are exposed to daily.
 
PMW has pointed out the significance of such a change. Were the PA to change the name of schools honoring terrorists, it would be a signal to Israelis and the world that Palestinians want peace and no longer find it morally justifiable to elevate killers of civilians to heroes.
 
But it does not seem likely that such a change will happen. Commenting on an internal controversy over the change of the name of a school in Gaza named after Ghassan Kanafani - a leader and spokesman of the terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - PA Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam "emphasized that national symbols must not be denigrated in any way." [Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 26, 2015]
 
In the same interview, Minister Saidam proclaimed that Fatah would protest against a change of the name of a street named after Ahmed Yassin - the founder and former head of the terrorist organization Hamas - "as our ethics and principles do not allow us [to do this], for how can a Palestinian harm national figures of prominence and Martyr leaders?'" [Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 26, 2015]
 
PMW documented the schools named after terrorists by the PA in the report Palestinian Authority Education: A Recipe for Hate and Terror, prepared for the Association of Secondary School Teachers in Israel and presented at the 7th World Congress of Education International (EI), the international organization of teachers' unions, on July 21-26, 2015. PMW was asked to make the report by the teachers' association after it was notified that the congress, which brought together nearly 2,000 teachers and educators from all over the world, planned to vote on several anti-Israel resolutions that included calls for boycott of Israel and support for BDS. PMW was very active at the teachers' unions' congress, documenting that the real problems in the Palestinian Authority education are caused by the PA themselves, and the anti-Israel resolutions were withdrawn.
 
The following are the reports documenting the responsibility of the PA Ministry of Education for naming schools:
 
Headline: "The Ministry of Education and Higher Education: 'Naming or changing the names of schools is under the authority of the Minister'"
"The [PA] Ministry of Education and Higher Education emphasized that naming state schools is under the authority of the Minister alone, and he does not know of any name change in any of his schools in the Gaza Strip.
In a press release this evening (Tuesday) [Aug. 25, 2015] it said: 'The Ministry, which names its schools after one of the Martyrs (Shahids) at the beginning of the school year, did not and will not agree to change the name of a school named after a Martyr as prominent as Ghassan Kanafani."
[WAFA (the official Palestinian news agency), Aug. 25, 2015]
 
 
Headline: "Saidam: 'Kanafani is a national figure, and the affront to prominent people and symbols is offensive"
"Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam emphasized that national symbols must not be denigrated in any way, and that the naming of schools and changes are the responsibility of the Minister of Education, by a direct decision of the Ministry or the Name Committee. Saidam stated today [Aug. 26, 2015] in an interview with Radio 'Mawtini' (radio station of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission -Ed.): 'It is regretful that Hamas changed the name of the Rafah school that was named after Ghassan Kanafani. A notice was published in Gaza, according to which this didn't happen, however published documents clarify that this indeed did happen...'
Saidam stated: 'The Fatah movement opposes the change [of name] of the street named after Martyr (Shahid) Ahmed Yassin, as our ethics and principles do not allow us [to do this], for how can a Palestinian harm national figures of prominence and Martyr leaders?'"
 
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 26, 2015]
 
Ghassan Kanafani - was a leader and spokesman of the terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
 
 
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - Founder and former head of the terrorist organization Hamas. The Hamas movement is responsible for numerous terror attacks and the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians.