Australia

Julie Bishop questions use of Australian aid in Palestine

Julie Bishop at Parliament House Source: AAP

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has sou Australian aid money hasn't been used for "martyr payments" in Palestine.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has sought assurances that Australian aid hasn't funded "martyr payments" in Palestine.

The Palestinian Authority has been accused of making "martyr payments" to the families of those killed or jailed in the conflict with Israel.

The payments are reportedly up to $AUD4620 a month.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday that Ms Bishop had written to the Palestinian Authority seeking assurances that Australian aid dollars weren't being used to encourage acts of violence.

Liberal senator Eric Abetz is pleased Ms Bishop has sought a "please explain".

"The Palestinian martyr fund not only encourages murder and terror attacks, it is a major barrier to peace in the Middle East," he said.

He wants Australia to cut its aid to Palestinian authorities until the fund stops.

Australia allocated $43 million in total aid to the Palestinian Territories in 2018-19.

The territories covering the West Bank and Gaza Strip are among the poorest regions in the Middle East.

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