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PNGO Condemns Norway demanding PA return funds for Center Named after Dalal Mughrabi

Palestinian Non Government Organizations Network condemns Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende recent demands from the Palestinian Authority to take down the Norwegian logo of a Women’s center in the West Bank after naming it after Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter who was killed in 1978.

PNGO reiterates their total refusal of changing the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Center that was established in Burqa Village. PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation.

PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation by the means permitted under international law and UN general assembly resolution. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende statement clearly de-legitmizes and criminalizes the lawful Palestinian resistance. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of November 1978: “2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle.”

No one in Burqa or in the Palestinian society glorifies terrorism and or terrorist attacks; there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists.  Norwegian Foreign Minister said “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 Norwegian representation office & UN Women logos were taken down, the Palestinian community of Burqa decided to keep the center name after Dalal Mugharabi.

The Dalal Mughrabi center was partially funded by Norway and UN Women and the rest was collected by Palestinian locals whom cover the remaining costs of the center. The purpose of the center is to empower young Palestinian Women and provide them a safe space to learn about democracy, human rights and elections. The young girls already formed dabka dancing groups, conducted painting workshops and other positive extra curriculum activities.

We remind the Norwegian representative office that they have an ethical responsibility to be neutral and balance decisions especially when providing humanitarian aid in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Norway, UN should not withdraw funds from the Occupied Palestinian Territory especially that Israeli occupation continues to violate international law through collective punishment, expansion of settlements and annexations, the Apartheid Wall, denying Palestinians Refugees the right of return and the Siege of Gaza.