On May 26, 2018, children at the Dar al Huda kindergarten in Gaza took part in a graduation ceremony that included the mock killing and kidnapping of Israelis while dressed as Palestinian Islamic Jihad combatants, according to NGO Monitor.
The ceremony included the use of drones, body cameras, military fatigues, body armor and sniper camouflage. The children wore headbands representing PIJ. Similar incidents were recorded in 2017 and 2016.
The Swedish government sponsored a workshop at the kindergarten on May 18, 2018, titled "Training of Teachers on Positive Discipline in Everyday Teaching." The Save the Children organization and the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution also collaborated on the workshop.
Would #Europe gov'ts fund a preschool that:— NGO Monitor (@NGOmonitor) August 29, 2019
A) dresses children as armed terrorists
B) simulates shooting & kidnapping #Israel soldier & civilian
C) was already linked to a banned #terror group
D) all of the above@MailOnline's @ChrisPleasance reports based on our research pic.twitter.com/xWwr9WCNzd
About $2 million was provided by the Swedish government to Save the Children for a 2017-2019 West Bank and Gaza project aiming to "address the systemic nature of violence (corporal punishment/physical and humiliating behaviors, physical and sexual abuse) against children,” according to NGO Monitor.
The project also worked to ensure that “such violations are reported, documented and addressed, and violators are held accountable – and by supporting positive discipline approaches within society.”
"Swedish Development Cooperation does not support the promotion of violence or terrorism, neither in Palestine nor elsewhere," said a spokesman for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency [SIDA] that provided the funding for Save the Children, according to the Daily Mail. "Furthermore, we have absolutely no indication that the activities that Save the Children carries out in Palestine with SIDA support (approximately $2m over three years) promote violence or terrorism, and we are convinced that this is not the case."
The spokesman insisted that "the only connection between this video clip and Swedish support via Save the Children is the possibility that some teacher from this school may have participated in a workshop organized by Save the Children that promotes non-violent forms of discipline in schools."
A spokesman for Save the Children stated that the organization "condemns all forms of violence."
"Teacher training sessions we organize, directly or through our partners, place particular importance on educating children in ways that promote peace and tolerance,"he said. "We do not support the Dar al Huda kindergarten in any way, and as far as we are aware, no teachers from this nursery have attended our teacher training. The poster you mention is a banner advertising one of our training sessions for teachers."A further statement by another representative added, "Our partner in Gaza held a series of trainings for teachers and civil society on ‘positive discipline,' a methodology targeting teachers and parents to protect children from violence. Some teachers from Dar Al Huda primary school participated in one of these trainings held on school premises in November 2018 for five days, several months after the video was allegedly shot according to the article.”