Government issues ‘please explain’ to Palestinian Authority
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has welcomed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s letter to the Palestinian Authority asking them to explain whether Australian aid funding is creating space within their budget to fund the so-called Martyr Fund. Senator Abetz uncovered that the letter had been sent on 29 May at Senate Estimates today.
Senator Abetz, a Member of the Australian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, has long advocated for the Australian Government to use its influence in an effort to end the Martyr’s Fund which rewards the families of Palestinian terrorists who kill or harm Israeli citizens, including civilians. In 2017-18, Australia is providing more than $43 million in aid to the Palestinian territories.
“The Palestinian Martyr Fund not only encourages murder and terror attacks, it is a major barrier to peace in the Middle East. The ‘please explain’ issued by the Foreign Minister is a strong and very welcome action that will hopefully apply pressure to the Palestinian Authority to end this murderous programme,” Senator Abetz said.
“Australia’s strong defence of Israel in the United Nations shows a clear determination by the Government to back Israel as the only free and democratic nation in the Middle East.”
“I am very pleased that the Foreign Minister has taken on board the representations made by myself and colleagues on this important issue which goes to the heart of our Australian values.”
“Should the Palestinian Authority continue to fund murder and attacks through this or other PA funds, I am hopeful that the Australian Government will take the further step of pausing all Aid until the programme is terminated,” Senator Abetz concluded.