Varkey Foundation Refuses to Withdraw Award from Palestinian Teacher

RAMALLAH, April 4, 2016 (WAFA) – The United Kingdom-based Varkey Foundation which awarded Hanan al-Hroub its Global Teacher Prize Monday refused to withdraw the award after intensive Israeli calls to withdraw the prize for her husband’s involvement in an attack against Israelis in the early 1980s.

Al-Hroub’s husband had served time in an Israeli prison for his involvement in the killing of six Israelis in the early 1980s. Israelis campaigned to withdraw the prize from al-Hroub citing her husband’s record and jail time.

The foundation said in a statement it does take into consideration the conduct of candidates’ relatives and stressed that al-Hroub has demonstrated a firm commitment to nonviolence.

It explained, “As a point of principle, we only look at the qualities, achievements and conduct of the candidates themselves.”

“As Hanan Al-Hroub has said herself, she has spent her whole life dealing with the effects of violence on children at close hand and every day she works toward a world where children, wherever they come from, can grow up peacefully.”

The foundation said al-Hroub spent her entire career teaching the principle of nonviolence and that she believes in nonviolence in all its forms and in all circumstances.

The campaign was launched against al-Hroub on Friday with pro-Israeli websites and groups demanding the international organization to withdraw the $1 million prize.

News websites reported that al-Hroub’s husband, Omar, was a chemist who supplied the Palestinians with the necessary materials to manufacture a bomb that killed six Israelis in the early 1980s.