"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.
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.
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.