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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3093

International Development Assistance

(Question No. 1)


Mr Danby asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 31 August 2016:

(1) Is it a fact that AusAid donated $5.7 million to World Vision for activities in Palestinian Territories.

(2) Was the Hamas military organisation classified by the Commonwealth Parliament, at the recommendation of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, as a terrorist organisation.

(3) Is it a fact that World Vision Gaza official Mohammed El Halabi has confessed to diverting 60 per cent of foreign donations to Hamas; if so, did the Australian Government have intelligence on this.

(4) What sum of Australian tax payer funds does she estimate were misused to assist Hamas and does she have plans to recover some or all of these funds from World Vision.

(5) What communication has there been between the Australian Government, the Israeli Government and World Vision in Gaza to prevent the misuse of funds in the future.

(6) What procedural policies have been employed to prevent the misuse of funds in the future.


Ms Julie Bishop: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The final amount provided to World Vision for activities in the Palestinian Territories is subject to ongoing audits.

(2) No, the Attorney-General is responsible for the listing of terrorist organisations in regulations made under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, including Hamas' paramilitary wing, the al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the Brigades).

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is not consulted with respect to the listing of terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code before the regulations are made. The PJCIS has authority to review regulations listing an organisation as a terrorist organisation, and report to each House of the Parliament. In its review last year (October), the PJCIS did not recommend the disallowance of the regulations listing the Brigades, therefore the Commonwealth Parliament did not take any further action in respect of the listing.

(3) The facts of the case remain before Israeli courts. It is not appropriate to respond to questions on intelligence matters.

(4) The facts of the case remain before Israeli courts. It is not appropriate to comment on the veracity of allegations before the courts in Israel.

(5) We are in regular contact with the Israeli Government and World Vision on this matter.

(6) The Australian Government has rigorous processes in place to investigate under DFAT's funding agreements and consistent with DFAT's Fraud Control and Anti-Corruption Plan.