NEW YORK – Belgium has halted aid for the construction of Palestinian schools after it emerged that a school built with Belgian money was renamed after one of the most lethal terrorists in Israel’s history, the Algemeiner reported.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported last week, the school formerly known as the Beit Awwa Basic Girls School was renamed by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Education as the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary Mixed School, in honor of the terrorist behind the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in which a bus was hijacked and 38 people, including 13 children, were murdered.
According to a plaque, the school was established “through a fund from the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and through the Belgian Development Agency BTC,” Palestinian Media Watch first reported.
In keeping with the PA’s educational methods, the school’s logo features a map of sovereign Israel as the state of “Palestine.” Its Facebook page contains images of Palestinian terrorist “martyrs,” including those killed while carrying out attacks during the most recent wave of violence.
“When the school building was handed over to the local community in 2013 it was called ‘Beit Awwa Basic Girls School,’ subsequently the name was changed to ‘Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School,’” Didier Vanderhasselt, a spokesperson for the Belgian foreign ministry told the Algemeiner. “The Belgian government was unaware of this name change.”
He added that Belgium “unequivocally condemns the glorification of terrorist attacks,” and “will not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way.”
“Belgium has immediately raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority and is awaiting a formal response,” Vanderhasselt said. “In the meantime Belgium will put on hold any projects related to the construction or equipment of Palestinian schools.”
According to the report, the school initially said it was debating another name change. However, in a Facebook post from Wednesday, the school wrote, “The name of Dalal is engraved in our hearts and will remain engraved in our minds.”
It also posted a poem written to express the “sadness” of “the faculty and students” over “the confiscation and robbery of the right and the will of the Palestinian people to name its institutions.”
“It is possible to change the name in the official records,” the school wrote in another post, “but it is very difficult to change what is in the heart and conscience … and it is very difficult to submit to this intellectual occupation.”
The Belgian Development Agency’s website declares that it will fund the construction of an additional 10 Palestinian schools by 2020, making a total of 33 schools paid for by Belgian taxpayers.
As “an important partner of the Palestinian Authority’s strategic plan for education,” Belgium “endeavors to promote a culture of respect for human rights, human dignity and tolerance,” Vanderhasselt said. “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.”
Breitbart Jerusalem also reported last week that at least two Fatah-run summer camps had also been named after the terrorist Mughrabi.
Altogether, more than 28 Palestinian schools have been named after terrorists and three after Nazi collaborators, PMW reported. In May, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Norwegian donations were being used to fund a Palestinian women’s center that was also named after Mughrabi. The center bore the logos of UN Women and the Norwegian Representative Office to the PA, both of which demanded the removal of the logos.