Belgium has halted education projects in the Palestinian territories after finding that a school it financed was renamed after a woman whom Brussels considers a terrorist. Two further school projects have been suspended.
The Belgian government on Tuesday announced that it had suspended educational aid for the Palestinian Authorityafter discovering that a school it had financed it 2013 was renamed after a woman who led a deadly attack against Israeli civilians in the 1970s.
Belgium's foreign ministry said it has recently discovered that the school, located in the West Bank city of Hebron, had been renamed as the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.
In a statement, Brussels said that the school's name had been changed without its knowledge, and that the new name was "unacceptable."
"Dalal Mughrabi was a Palestinian terrorist who led a terrorist attack against Israel in 1978. This attack caused the death of 38 civilians, including 13 children," the foreign ministry said. "The Belgian government unequivocally condemns the glorification of terrorist attacks. Belgium will not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way."
By suspending educational aid ties with the Palestinian Authority, Belgium has put on hold the construction of two further schools, as part of an aid project totaling around 3.3 million euros ($3.8 million).
The Palestinian education minister, Sabri Saydam, said in a statement that he regretted the Belgian government's decision but invited the Belgian Consul General "to meet and discuss the matter."
dm/bk (AP, AFP)