Palestine
Life in the Gaza strip (Image: AP/Hatem Moussa)

Australian aid to Palestine has fallen greatly under the Coalition government, partly due to successive Liberal prime ministers believing false allegations of mismanagement and illegality by Palestinians.

The result for Palestinians living under occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza has been devastating and comes on top of the Trump administration cutting all aid to Palestine early this year (changes that particularly impact women).

The World Vision case

One particular case highlights the rot that’s developed in the Palestinian aid debate. Israel charged a Gaza-based, World Vision employee, Mohammed El Halabi, in 2016 with illegally diverting millions of dollars of aid money to Hamas coffers. The Australian government, having given the Christian charity $5 million for its work over years in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, immediately suspended its support. The Australian/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council was quick to believe the Israeli allegations. The Israeli judge initially told Halabi that he was almost guaranteed of being found guilty.