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    Palestinian protesters run to cover from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 6, 2018

    Australia Halts Aid to Palestine Amid Fears Funds Transferred to Terrorists

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    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addressed the Palestinian Authority in May, requesting assurance that the country's $7.4 million donation wouldn't be used for activities "Australia would never support."

    "Today I announce that the Australian Government has discontinued funding to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program … The Australian Government has informed the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the World Bank of our decision," Bishop said in a statement.

    Australia has decided to end its direct funding of the Palestinian Authority due to fears that about possible misuse of these donations by the Palestinian Authority.

    "I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended. However, 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 underlined.

    READ MORE: FBI Using Online Pro-Palestinian Campaigner 'Blacklists' to Identify Suspects

    The financial support provided to the Palestinian convicted of politically motivated violence may hamper the prospects of peace between Palestine and Israel, the minister underlined.

    "The Australian Government remains committed to supporting vulnerable Palestinians with access to basic services, including healthcare, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter. We will now direct our $10 million allocation to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories which supports these services," Bishop added, as quoted in the statement.

    In June, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Australia's financial aid to Palestine is allegedly used to fund Ma'an Development Centre, which employed a leader of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist group in the United States and the United Kingdom, among others.

    Demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border have been ongoing since March 30, with Israel blaming Gaza’s militant administration Hamas and Iran for the violence. Relations between Israel and Palestine have been strained for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, as well as the Gaza Strip.

    Australia's $7.4 million in financing for the World Bank's trust fund will be reallocated to the United Nations' Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories, which provides humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Palestinians in need of food and water  as well as health care.

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    aid, Palestinian Territories, Australia
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