Belgium suspends funding for Palestinian schools
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian government is suspending funding for two school construction projects in the Palestinian territories after it emerged that a school it backed was later renamed after a woman it considers a terrorist.
Belgium said it backed a school in the south of Hebron only to find out in 2013 that local authorities changed its name to “Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.”
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said that Mughrabi was “a Palestinian terrorist” who led a 1978 attack against Israel that killed 38, including 13 children.
“Belgium will not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way,” a statement from Reynders’ office said. Two projects totaling $3.9 million have been put on hold.
Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Saydam said in a statement he regretted the Belgian action and invited the Belgian Consul General “to meet and discuss the matter.”
AP correspondent Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed.