Belgium suspends funding for Palestinian education after schools named for terrorist

Officials announced Friday that the Belgian government would suspend funding for Palestinian schools after two more were named after terrorists.

By: World Israel News Staff

The Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation announced on Friday it was suspending its funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) education system after the latter named two schools after terrorists.

In an apparent mockery of Belgium, the Palestinian educational system named two schools after “the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi” while attempting to circumvent Belgian protests against this policy.

Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre in 1978, during which she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.

In September 2017, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) exposed the PA for naming a Belgian-funded school “The Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.”

In October 2017, Belgium froze its funding for PA schools and demanded that the name be changed. In July, the name had still not been changed.

Last month, Belgium reiterated that it “unequivocally condemns the glorification of terrorist attacks” through PA schools.

Two weeks later, the PA removed the terrorist’s name from the school and renamed it “The Belgian School,” while on the same day it changed the name of a nearby school, The Beit Awwa Elementary School for Girls, to “The Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.” Three days later, the PA named a new school “The Second Dalal Mughrabi Republic School.”

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The PA announced that the new school “will be funded from state coffers.”

PMW noted that this is supposed to prevent donors from complaining that their money is funding schools named after terrorists.

Responding to the apparent disregard of its policies by the Palestinians, Belgium announced it was suspending funding to the Palestinians.

“Belgium regrets the naming of the two other schools, which were not built with Belgian funds,” the ministry stated, according to Belgium’s Joods Actueel. “The glorification of terrorism or perpetrators of terrorist acts is in no way acceptable. Our country has repeatedly sent the Belgian position to the Palestinian Ministry of Education.”

“As long as terrorism is glorified through school names, Belgium cannot continue to cooperate with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and budgets for school building will be suspended,” the ministry added.

However, “Belgium will remain active in Palestine as a development partner and will focus on improving human rights, with a focus on women’s rights, and on the development of the private sector by promoting digital entrepreneurship,” it stated.

The PA has named at least 28 schools after terrorists and at least three schools after Nazi collaborators. The PA Ministry of Education is directly and solely responsible for the naming of schools.

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While Norway, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Nations have condemned the PA for naming educational and cultural buildings that they funded after terrorists, the Palestinians persist in the practice.