The Belgian government has decided to freeze funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) education system after a primary school built with support from Brussels was named after a notorious Palestinian terrorist, a spokesman for the country told the Times of Israel on Monday.
The Beit Awaa Elementary Girls School, located in the West Bank’s Hebron region, was built with funds from Belgium in 2012-2013. It was 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.
It is one of several schools built with money from Brussels, which donates millions of euros a year to the Palestinian education system.
Didier Vanderhasselt, a spokesman 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 renaming of the Beit Awwa elementary school was first highlighted in a report published on September 27 by the Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
According to PMW, there are five PA schools that are currently named after Mughrabi, and over 30 that are named after terrorists.
In May, Norway demanded funds for a Palestinian Women’s centre in the West Bank be returned after the institution renamed itself after Dalal Mughrabi.