Monday, December 17, 2018

Australia to stop giving direct aid to the PA


By Maria Correia - July 03, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [aid] [martyr] [prisoners]

On July 2, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced Australia had discontinued their funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA). 

The aid is traditionally directed through the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program.
 
The decision comes after concerns the Palestinian Authority uses parts of the funds to assist people convicted of politically motivated violence.
 
In a report issued by the Government of Australia, Bishop said she was concerned the funds may have been used for activities that 'Australia would never support.”
 
Bishop stated she had contacted the Palestinian Authority on May 29 to get confirmation that the funds are being used as intended; she is confident that any money that has already been donated has not been misused.
 
In the same report, Bishop states 'any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation - the body which formed the PA - 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 fears of funding political violence through donations stem from the PA’s compensation payments to the families of Palestinians that have been killed or jailed under the Israeli occupation.
 
The recent attention to direct aid to the PA come from the American Taylor Force Act, which was passed in March by the United States Congress.
 
The Act requires for the United States to stop all funding to the Palestinian Authority while they continue issuing these compensation payments to Palestinian families.
 
Palestinians have heavily condemned the Taylor Force Act, as they feel the families of those killed or jailed under the occupation are victims of violence.
 
Nabil Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian official, has condemned the Act, as it “does not allow for an atmosphere conducive to peace.”
 
The PA’s compensation payments, more commonly known as the Palestinian Martyrs’ Fund, is a financial service that aims to support the families of those who have been injured, killed or imprisoned by the Israeli government.
 
In the PA’s Law of Prisoners, a Palestinian prisoner is “anyone imprisoned in the occupation’s prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation.”
 
Additionally, the fund offers smaller monthly payments to Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons.
 
The present Palestinian government asserts that these payments are not made to members of any extreme group.
 
The PA and the World Bank have been informed of the Australian Government decision.
 
The funding from Australia will now instead be re-routed to the United Nations Humanitarian Fund for Palestinian territories.
 
The oPt Humanitarian fund helps 1.9 million people, and an overall of 75% of its funding is spent on Gaza.
 
Lead photo: Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop

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