(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [archive])
Hundreds of schools are now teaching pupils the history of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, as part of the annual Gush Katif education week.
Gush Katif education week is scheduled to coincide with the Hebrew date on which Gaza’s first civilian settlement, Netzer Hazani, was founded in 1977, taking over the Gadish Nahal paramilitary settlement that was started in May 1973.
The program has been held since the Knesset in 2008 approved the “Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Memorial Law,” which called for “the founding of a memorial center that will commemorate the settlements of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria through the endowment of national values.”
The special curriculum is not mandatory, as opposed to school memorial programs for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin or the victims of the Holocaust, and is far from universally observed.
A spokeswoman for the Gush Katif residents council told The Jerusalem Post
on Sunday that the program will be followed in more than 400 public schools, nearly all from the state-religious stream, with only a smattering of state schools taking part. No Arab schools are involved, she said.
The programs consist of lectures from former residents of Gush Katif as well as slide shows and films that commemorate the Jewish community that existed in Gaza before 2005’s disengagement.
The programs are held either on a single class day or throughout the week, at the school administrator’s discretion, and are typically popular with the students, the spokeswoman said.