(JTA) – Israel praised Norway after it withdrew funds it donated to a West Bank women’s centre after learning it was named for a Palestinian terrorist.
The centre in the village of Burqa on the West Bank was named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre which killed 37 civilians, many of them children, and injured dozens.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende said on Friday in a statement: “The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.”
The centre was opened last week.
“We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the centre to be repaid. We will not enter into any new agreements with either the Palestinian Election Commission or UN Women in Palestinian areas until satisfactory procedures are in place to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again,” Brende said.
“Norway has done the right thing. Standing strongly against the positive commemoration of terrorists is an essential part of the international effort to eradicate terrorism,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Israel suggests that all members of the international community check where money invested in the Palestinian Authority ends up, and expects all other partners in this project to follow Norway’s example.”
The United Nations also denounced the name chosen for the centre and said that it has withdrawn its financial support and called on the centre to remove the United Nations Women logo from the building.