Danish Foreign Minister Demands Return of Funding for Palestinian Community Center Honoring Fatah Terrorist
Denmark’s foreign minister has excoriated a Palestinian NGO for naming a community center in the West Bank built with Danish aid money after the notorious Palestinian terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi.
The center – a project of the Women’s Technical Affairs Committee (WATC) – opened in May in the West Bank village of Burqa.
Mughrabi, a Fatah terrorist, carried out the bloodiest terrorist attack in Israel’s history, the “Coastal Road Massacre.” On March 11 1978, Mughrabi led a group of PLO terrorists who landed on a Tel Aviv beach and went on to seize a bus full of passengers which they drove north on Israel’s Coastal Highway. The operation ended with the deaths of 38 Israelis – including 12 children – with a further 71 wounded.
Anders Samuelsen, the Danish Foreign Minister, expressed fury with the WATC in an official statement, demanding that the NGO return the Danish funds.
“I am outraged that the WATC, which claims to work for human rights, has not only glorified a terrorist but also abused the trust of a generous people like the Danish,” Samuelsen said. “It is completely unacceptable and I can’t distance myself strongly enough from it. Denmark and Danish tax kroner must under no circumstances be used for anything that glorifies or promotes terrorists in any way. Therefore, we will now also demand that the WATC return the Danish aid.”
The Danish reaction follows similar dismayed responses from the Norwegian government and the UN, who were also involved with the center’s construction.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) – an Israeli monitoring organization that first alerted the relevant governments to the scandal – said that the purpose of the center was to promote Mughrabi as a hero. Reem Hajje, a member of the Burqa village council, noted that the center “will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and that it constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has mounted a stalwart defense of the center, going so far as to criticize Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, for expressing his disapproval of the center.
The PA called on the UN “to stop expressing the surprising and unacceptable positions and statements that the UN Secretary-General ‘s office made regarding the women’s center in the village of Burqa, in the Nablus district, on the pretext that it bears the name of Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi.”
Guterres comments were a “troubling signal of changes that have been taking place recently in the functioning and language of the UN,” the PA said.
Sami Daghlas – the chairman of the community center – said he would rather shut it down than change its name.
“If we are forced to choose between the aid and a name, we will return the aid to them, and we will not agree to conditional funding. If we were to agree today to change the name, that would whet their appetite for additional extortion, and tomorrow they will interfere in our names and change the names of our cities and villages to biblical names,” Daghlas said.