Palestinians hoping for spike in Canadian aid for education during Harper trip - InfoNews

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Palestinians hoping for spike in Canadian aid for education during Harper trip

January 16, 2014 - 1:32 PM

OTTAWA - Canada is looking at boosting aid to the West Bank in an area considered critical by Israel — teaching young Palestinians to stop hating their Jewish neighbours.

Palestinian and Jewish-Canadian officials say Prime Minister Stephen Harper will likely announce a replenishment of Canadian development assistance when he makes his landmark visit to the West Bank next week.

The top Palestinian diplomat in Canada, Said Hamad, says he welcomes the possibility of further assistance in the realm of education.

Canada's five-year, $300-million aid commitment to the Palestinian Authority expired last March, but it was extended for a year because not all the money was spent.

Shimon Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, is travelling with Harper's entourage to the Middle East and says an announcement of further aid to the Palestinians is almost certainly on the agenda.

Harper's visit to the West Bank and Jordan will follow four days in Israel, where he'll make history as the first Canadian leader to address the nation's parliament.

Canada's funding to the Palestinian Authority has been focused on building the Palestinian economy and helping them properly govern themselves. It has targeted three areas: programs aimed at strengthening the justice system, providing food security and measures to help spur economic growth.

Now, spending in a new area is under discussion: the Palestinian education system, which Israel sees as a breeding ground for a future generation of terrorists.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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