JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel praised Norway after the Scandinavian country withdrew funds it donated to a West Bank women’s center after learning it was named for a Palestinian terrorist.
The center in the village of Buraq was named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 massacre on a highway near Tel Aviv that killed 37 civilians, many of them children, and injured dozens. It opened last week.
“The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms,” Norway’s foreign minister, Borge Brende, said Friday in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “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 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The United Nations also denounced the name and said it has withdrawn its financial support. It called on the center named to remove the United Nations Women logo from the building.