Senior U.S. official dedicates UNRWA school

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A senior U.S. official dedicating an UNRWA school in Jordan referred to a future Palestinian state.

Eric Schwartz, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, on Monday called the Zarqa Preparatory School an opportunity to "build the capacity of the future Palestinian state by educating its future leaders."

The girls’ academy is comprised of three separate schools. The United States contributed $1.48 million in 2007 for its construction.

"UNRWA is well known for providing quality, universal education in all its operational fields," Schwartz said. "I am confident that the Zarqa Preparatory School will be a place where girls will have a chance to learn how they can become full members and leaders of their community."

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is the principal organization attending to Palestinian refugees. Some Jewish watchdog groups have complained that the agency allows anti-Israel materials into its schools’ curriculum; the agency says it abides by local educational standards.

The U.S. government, UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor, has contributed about $268 million this year.

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