update deskIsrael at War

Ex-UNRWA official: Hamas chief Haniyeh was one of our teachers

Israel and the U.S. "corrupted" the agency's school curricula by "planting" topics that have "nothing to do" with Palestinian values, Ahmad Oueidat says.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Gaza, at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt, after reconciliation talks with Fatah mediated by Egyptian intelligence, Sept. 19, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Gaza, at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt, after reconciliation talks with Fatah mediated by Egyptian intelligence, Sept. 19, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

The West is unhappy with UNRWA for giving rise to the top cadre of Palestinian leaders, former UNRWA official Ahmad Oueidat said in a March 14 interview on the London-based pro-Hamas Al-Hiwar Arabic-language satellite TV channel 

Both Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Talal Naji, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command terrorist organization, were teachers in UNRWA schools, Oueidat said.

Oueidat went on to say that Western countries, Israel and the U.S. had “corrupted” the UNRWA school curricula by “planting” topics that have “nothing to do” with Palestinian values and heritage, and forced the U.N. agency to remove certain pictures and topics.

In his last position, Oueidat was UNRWA’s director of professional development and curriculum.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Ahmad Oueidat: “UNRWA has tried to constitute a national platform and a long arm, which would enable the Palestinian refugees to obtain their rights and first and foremost—the right of return. …

“But what happened was the [West] saw that UNRWA was raising thousands and thousands of cadres, who could gradually contribute to the development of Palestinian society. They saw that the UNRWA schools were giving rise to leaders. Many familiar names of politicians and leaders. …

“First and foremost, we can mention Ismail Haniyeh, who was an UNRWA teacher, and so was Dr. Talal Naji, secretary-general of the PFLP-GC. …

“There used to be quality in [UNRWA’s] education. The teaching cadres really embraced their profession. However, the Americans and the Zionists did not look at this favorably. This is why they insisted on interfering. We, as UNRWA employees, had to deal with that interference. My final position was head of the Professional Development and Curriculum Unit, so I had to deal with it directly. They forced us to remove pictures and various topics. …

“They planted [in the curricula] topics that have nothing to do with our values and our heritage, under the fancy slogans like neutrality, independence, impartiality and humanity—as if UNRWA was not humane and neutral before. …

“The Israelis, the Americans and the Western politicians felt that as long as UNRWA upholds its goals, it constitutes a source of danger. This is why [they decided] to corrupt it.”

—–

An Israeli intelligence report, shared with the U.S. administration, showed a dozen UNRWA staff members actively participated in the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, and that the agency has 450 “military operatives” from Hamas and other terrorist groups on its payroll.

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