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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4184


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (16:52): The foreign minister wrote to her counterpart on 29 May 2018, raising concerns and seeking assurances that Australian funding does not, in any way, enable or encourage acts of violence. The foreign minister has received a response to her letter and is now working through the next steps. The foreign minister also raised concerns on this issue with her Palestinian counterparts during her visit to Ramallah in September 2016, as did trade minister Ciobo during a visit in December 2016. DFAT maintains strict due diligence, regular monitoring and reporting, and comprehensive financial and counter-terrorism checks are in place for all activities receiving Australian aid in the Palestinian territories. DFAT understands the Palestinian Authority provides to the Palestine Liberation Organization, a parallel entity of the Palestinian Authority, funds for financial assistance to Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence, and their families, through a martyrs fund. This undermines the prospects of a meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians.