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Belgian and PA officials to meet over suspension of funding school renamed after terrorist that PMW exposed
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Belgian officials to meet with Palestinian Authority
over suspension of funding school renamed after terrorist

Last week, Belgium announced that it was freezing its financial aid to the construction of a Palestinian school after reports mentioned that the school was renamed after a terrorist murderer. The Belgian foreign ministry said it was removing its financial support for a Palestinian school in the Southern Hebron hills after discovering that the school had changed its name to the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. Dalal Mughrabi was one of the terrorists that carried out the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 in which 38 Israelis including 13 children were murdered and 71 injured.

Belgium announced that it was freezing its financial aid to the construction of a Palestinian school after reports mentioned that the school was renamed after a terrorist murderer.

The Belgian foreign ministry said it was removing its financial support for a Palestinian school in the Southern Hebron hills after discovering that the school had changed its name to the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. Dalal Mughrabi was one of the terrorists that carried out the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 in which 38 Israelis including 13 children were murdered and 71 injured.

"In reaction to a number of articles published the last few days, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo clarify the Belgian policy regarding the support to schools in the Palestinian Territories, " a statement from the foreign ministry said. "The Belgian government has supported the construction of a school building in the south of Hebron in 2012-2013. When the school building was handed over to the local community in 2013 it was called ‘Beit Awwa Basic Girls School’. This name was later changed to the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. The Belgian government was unaware of this name change," the statement added. "Minister Reynders and Minister De Croo find this change of name unacceptable." "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. Our country has immediately raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority and is awaiting a formal response," the ministry said. Belgium has also put on hold aid worth €3.3 million for two projects related to the construction of Palestinian schools.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a Jerusalem-based NGO which first exposed the case, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Education expressed "great sorrow" over Belgium's freeze. The ministry noted that the reason Belgium suspended its support was over the naming of the school after Dalal Mughrabi but did not distance itself from the name or its policy of honoring terrorists. The PA also did not mention anything about the other schools named after terrorists or any plans to rename them.
A meeting between Belgian and PA officials is scheduled on Wednesday, according to the official PA daily newspaper.

In anticipation of the announced meeting, PMW spoke to the Belgian embassy in Israel and urged Belgium to use its leverage as a donor to the PA to demand the PA change the names of all 31 PA schools that honor Palestinian terrorists as well as the names of the three schools that honor Nazi collaborators.

PMW's report documented that the PA has named five schools after terrorist Salah Khalaf, who planned the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and four schools after terrorist Abu Jihad, who the Palestinian Authority credits with responsibility for killing 125 Israelis. It has also named a school after Hitler's ally Haj Amin Al-Husseini.
[http://www.ejpress.org/article/Belgian-officials-to-meet-with-Palestinian-Authority-over-funding-of-school-renamed-after-terrorist/23554]


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