'Israel blocks delivery of Gaza textbook paper'

UN charges Israel with blocking deliveries of paper intended for printing of books used in Gaza schools.

gaza aid trucks kerem shalom 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
gaza aid trucks kerem shalom 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The Defense Ministry rejected accusations leveled by the UN on Tuesday that the IDF was preventing the transfer of paper into the Gaza Strip to print much-needed textbooks for Palestinian schoolchildren. John Ging, the top UN official in Gaza, said the textbooks were for a new human rights curriculum to be taught to children in all grade levels. He said 60 percent of the textbooks had yet to be printed. Ging said he was "extremely frustrated" at Israel's alleged refusal, "not least because we have a new human rights curriculum which everybody here is very excited to teach the children." The human rights courses are modeled on those developed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, with input from the human rights community in Gaza, he said. They are to be taught by special teachers in every school, with the human rights organizations evaluating the teachers' performance. "Hopefully, when the kids leave our schools, they'll have the clearest understanding of rights, responsibilities and the effective mechanisms to uphold and achieve those rights," Ging said. "We want these kids to come up with a civilized outlook, with the mindset that is orientated toward peace and tolerance, and we're being obstructed," Ging continued. "Not being allowed to bring in paper to print the human rights textbooks means that there is an obstruction for the teaching of human rights to the children here in Gaza." Defense officials have said that Israel did not object to transferring printed textbooks to the Gaza Strip, but was opposed to the delivery of raw materials that could be seized by Hamas and used for its own purposes.