UN pulls backing for Palestinian women's center over naming

The U.N. has stopped supporting a Palestinian community center in the West Bank that was named for a woman who participated in a deadly 1978 attack in Israel.

Secretary-General António Guterres's office said in a statement Sunday that the U.N. withdrew its support after learning the center was named for Dalal Mughrabi.

"The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstance," Guterres's office said. "The U.N. has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence and hatred as they present one of the obstacles to peace."

Sorida Hussein, head of the organization behind the women's center that received the funds, said she was "happily surprised that the U.N. secretary-general has the time to mention a small Palestinian village under Israeli occupation." She emphasized "how good this center has been for the community regardless of the name."

Hussein said members of the center chose the name after the U.N. completed the project last year.

Mughrabi, a member of the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), participated in a 1978 bus hijacking on Israel's main coastal highway in which 38 civilians were killed.

The U.N. announcement, which entailed the removal a sign from the site, came a day after Norway pulled its funding. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Norway and the U.N. for their actions.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Sunday demanded the Palestinian Authority reimburse funds given to the women's center, saying Oslo "will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists."