Australia Cuts Direct Funding to Palestinians, Will Trump Follow Suit?

Monday, July 02, 2018 |  Israel Today Staff

Australia on Monday announced its decision to cut direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority over the latter's propensity to use that money to fuel anti-Israel terrorism.

Last month, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop asked the Palestinian Authority to guarantee that Australian donations were not being given as stipends to Palestinians jailed for engaging in terrorist violence against Israel.

Apparently, the PA's response failed to satisfy Bishop, who wrote in a statement published online:

"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 (fund) activities that Australia would never support.

"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."

Instead, Australia will send the $7.4 (USD) in question to the United Nations Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories in hopes that it will be used only to provide health care and basic necessities to those most in need.

The question on many Israelis' minds is if American President Donald Trump will now follow suit by cutting all American financial aid to the PA.

Already in March, the US Congress passed and Trump signed into law the Taylor Force Act, which slashed the amount of American taxpayers' dollars being put in the PA's pockets.

But many lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington feel the motion didn't go far enough, and that so long as the PA is inciting hatred of and violence against Israeli Jews, it shouldn't be the recipient of even one American dollar.

PHOTO: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2016. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

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