Julie Bishop must be unrelenting until she receives unequivocal assurances from the Palestinian Authority that Australian aid money is not funding reward payments to “martyrs” — terrorists attacking Israel and its people. Such an assurance is overdue with disbursement to “martyrs’’ and their families from the authority’s “Martyr Fund” now totalling $US347 million ($458m) a year. Under the PA’s system, the larger the crime, the bigger the payment from the fund. Those sentenced to 20 or more years in an Israeli prison, mostly for attacks in which Israelis died, get five times the $US580 a month paid to those serving three to five years. Many “martyrs” and their families receive $US3500 a month. This pernicious system promotes killing.
There is no indication Australian aid to the Palestinian territories, which will total $43m this year, is finding its way into the Martyr Fund, which is heavily resourced by Arab benefactors.