Belgium has broken its relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) bureau in charge of education over its honoring of terrorists and will no longer fund the construction of its schools, a government spokesperson said, according to JTA.
The Belgian Education Ministry announced the move — the first of its kind by any European country — this week, the Joods Actueel Jewish newspaper reported Friday.
“As long as school names are used to glorify terrorism, Belgium can no longer cooperate with the Palestinian Education Ministry and will not give out budgets for the construction of schools,” the statement said, as quoted by JTA.
Last October, Belgium froze $3.8 million in funding for the construction of two PA schools after one of the schools it helped fund was renamed for a terrorist who killed Jewish civilians. Numerous appeals by the Belgian government to have the school renamed have gone unheeded, leading to the end of cooperation, the statement said.
Sometime after 2013, a school built in Hevron with Belgian money was renamed for Dalal Mughrabi, a Fatah terrorist who helped organize and led the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre in which 12 Israeli children and 25 adults were slaughtered. The school was inaugurated as the Beit Awwa Elementary School for Girls in 2013.
Last year, Palestinian Media Watch revealed that funds provided by the United Nations and Norway had been used to support a women’s center named after Mughrabi in the town of Burqa. Norwegian Foreign Minister Brende demanded the PA immediately return the donated money and remove the Norwegian Foreign Ministry logo from the building.
Despite the uproar, the head of the village's council, Sami Daghlas, told the Wafa news agency that the town would not rename the women's center, saying that the “the name Dalal Mughrabi was chosen by the villagers to commemorate a Palestinian hero who sacrificed herself for her country and therefore they have no intention to change its name regardless of the price."
Michael Freilich, editor in chief of Joods Actueel, which has followed the affair closely, congratulated Education Minister Alexander De Croo for his “courageous decision,” as Freilich called it.
Freilich added that he hoped other European governments would follow suit, “so that fewer Palestinian children will be educated to hate — at least not with European money.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)