Australia said Monday that it has discontinued funding the Palestinian Authority because of concern that the money is making PA payments to terrorists and their families possible, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the country had cut funding of AU$10m ($7.4m) to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the PA leadership in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian terrorists.
“I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support,” Bishop said.
“Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organization 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,” she added.
Bishop promised that Canberra remains committed to supporting “vulnerable Palestinians with access to basic services, including health care, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter.” As a result, Australia will now direct the aid “to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories which supports these services.”
About 75% of this money, she said, will be allocated to Gaza.
The move comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March praised the United States for passing a law that suspended some financial aid to the Palestinians over stipends for terrorists. The Taylor Force Act, named after an American killed in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist in 2016, was folded into a $1.3 trillion spending bill signed by President Donald Trump.
The Knesset is expected to pass a similar bill on Monday that will require the Israeli government to deduct the NIS 1.2 billion the PA pays terrorists and their families from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the PA.
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube]