Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Vidal)
The Belgian Foreign Ministry announced today that it is removing its financial support for a Palestinian school in the Southern Hebron hills after discovering that the school had changed its name to the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. Dalal Mughrabi was one of the terrorists that carried out the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 in which 38 Israelis including 13 children were murdered and 71 injured.
The Belgian Foreign Ministry said, "In reaction to a number of articles published the last few days, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo clarify the Belgian policy regarding the support to schools in the Palestinian Territories."
"The Belgian government has supported the construction of a school building in the south of Hebron in 2012-2013. When the school building was handed over to the local community in 2013 it was called ‘Beit Awwa Basic Girls School’. This name was later changed to the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School. The Belgian government was unaware of this name change."
The announcement adds, "Minister Reynders and Minister De Croo find this change of name unacceptable."
"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. Our country has immediately raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority and is awaiting a formal response."
Belgium has also put on hold aid worth €3.3 million for two projects related to the construction of Palestinian schools.
It has taken a long time for the Belgians to act on this issue. The Israeli media reported about the name change back in 2014 and research institutes monitoring Palestinian affairs have also reported the matter.
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem believes that this is another indication of a new trend in Western Europe against anything that smacks of encouraging Palestinian terror.