Freedom of religion in the State of Palestine
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Freedom of religion is the
The PA does not have a constitution; however, the Basic Law provides for religious freedom. The Basic Law was approved in 2002 by the
The PA requires Palestinians to declare their religious affiliation on identification papers. Either Islamic or Christian
The PA does not have a
Since Islam is the official religion of the PA, Islamic institutions and places of worship receive preferential treatment according to the US Department of State. In the West Bank and Gaza, the PA has a Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, which pays for the construction and maintenance of mosques and the salaries of many Palestinian imams. The Ministry also provides limited financial support to some Christian clergymen and Christian charitable organizations. The PA does not provide financial support to any Jewish institutions or holy sites in the West Bank; these areas are generally under Israeli control. The
The PA requires the teaching of religion in PA schools, with separate courses for Muslim and Christian students. A compulsory curriculum requires the study of Christianity for Christian students and Islam for Muslim students in grades one through six. The PA Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) revised its primary and secondary school textbooks. A U.S. Government funded review of Palestinian textbooks concluded that the textbooks did not cross the line into incitement but continued to show elements of imbalance, bias, and inaccuracy. Critics noted the new textbooks often ignored historical Jewish connections to Israel and Jerusalem.