(JTA) — Belgium has broken its relations with the Palestinian Education Ministry over its honoring of terrorists and will no longer fund the construction of its schools, a government spokesperson said.
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 says.
Last year, Belgium froze $3.8 million in funding for the construction of two Palestinian schools after a West Bank school that 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 Hebron with Belgian money was renamed for Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who was part of a 1978 attack that killed 38 civilians, including 13 children. The school was inaugurated as the Beit Awwa Elementary School for Girls in 2013.
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 said he hoped other European governments would follow suit, “so that fewer Palestinian children will be educated to hate — at least not with European money.