Australia cuts payments to Palestinian Authority

Australia has terminated our annual $10 million funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has long argued for cuts to foreign aid and for transparency in tracking every dollar spent and called for funding cuts to the PA in May.

Allegations surfaced earlier this year that the PA had been funding payments to Islamic, “martyrs”.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wrote to the PA, seeking clear assurances that Australian funding was not being used to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence or paying stipends or “martyr payments” to the families of those killed or jailed by Israeli authorities of up to US$3,500 a month.

Minister Bishop said she was concerned that in providing funding, there was an opportunity for it to use its own budget to fund activities that Australia would never support.

“Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians”, the Minister said.