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State ‘disturbed’ by reports of Mughrabi square naming

JTA

March 16, 2011 | 4:29 pm

The State Department called “disturbing” reports that Palestinian Authority officials attended the renaming of a square after a terrorist, saying it condemned such commemorations.

“We are very disturbed by these reports and are seeking clarification from the Palestinian Authority,” a State Department official told JTA. “We condemn any commemoration of acts of terrorism and underscore that all parties have an obligation to end incitement.”

Palestinians in an official March 13 ceremony named a town square in the West Bank after a terrorist involved in killing 37 Israelis.

Members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction were on hand Sunday for the unveiling of a plaque in memory of Dalal Mughrabi in Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, Reuters reported. No PA government officials attended the ceremony, according to Reuters.

Mughrabi was killed in a 1978 bus hijacking on Israel’s coastal road. She had directed the hijacking of two buses on the coastal road between Haifa and Tel Aviv, which led to the murder of 37 Israelis, including 13 children.

One year ago, the Palestinian Authority had canceled official ceremonies to name the town square for Mughrabi after pressure from U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell and Vice President Joe Biden at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request. The planned ceremony conflicted with a Biden visit to the region.

The P.A. said at the time that it would place the official monument at a later date.

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