European Jewish Congress
Belgium halts PA education funding because school named after terrorist
Belgium
Belgium halts PA education funding because school named after terrorist

The Belgian government has decided to freeze funding to the Palestinian Authority education system after an elementary school built with support from Brussels took the name of a notorious Palestinian terrorist.

The Beit Awaa Elementary Girls School, located in the southern West Bank’s Hebron region, was built with funds from Belgium in 2012-2013. It is one of several schools built with money from Brussels, which donates millions of euros a year to the education system.

The school was later renamed the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. Dalal Mughrabi took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, in which she and several other Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70.

Didier Vanderhasselt, a spokesperson for Belgian’s Foreign Ministry, told The Times of Israel in a statement that in response to the renaming of the school after Mughrabi, “Belgium will put on hold any projects related to the construction or equipment of Palestinian schools.”

“The Belgian government unequivocally condemns the glorification of terrorist attacks. Belgium will not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way,” the statement added.

Vanderhasselt added that Brussels is awaiting a formal response from the Palestinian Authority after raising the issue with Ramallah.

“Belgium has long since been an important partner of the Palestinian Authority’s strategic plan for education. Belgium endeavours to promote a culture of respect for human rights, human dignity and tolerance. This should be reflected in curricula taught at schools funded abroad by Belgian taxpayer’s contributions as well as in the names and logos of such schools,” the statement read.

A Facebook post on October 4 showed the school’s management was reluctant to change the name.

“Good Morning from the Dalal Al Mughrabi School, from the name beaming with love for all the children of Palestine, its elderly, its youth and all the martyrs of the homeland. The name of Dalal will remain etched in our hearts and engraved in our minds,” the post said.

Later in the day, the school posted on its Facebook a poem entitled “We are all Dalal,” which it said expressed the “sadness” of the faculty and students over the fact that the “Palestinian people had been robbed of their right to name its institutions.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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