The Australian government has ended direct payments to the Palestinian Authority over its continued policy of paying terrorists and the family’s of “martyrs”.

The Palestinian Authority has long funded terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and has repeatedly vowed never to stop paying terrorists. Last year the PA is estimated to have given more than £262 million to convicted terrorists as well as the families of terrorists who were killed (martyrs).

In response to this ongoing policy, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement on Monday that funding to a World Bank trust fund was cut to ensure Australian funding was not being misspent.

In a statement, Bishop expressed concern that providing further aid would allow the PA to use the funds for activities that “Australia would never support.”

“Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organization to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Bishop said in a statement.

“I wrote to the Palestinian Authority on May 29, to seek clear assurance that Australian funding is not being used to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence,” she wrote.

“I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended,” Bishop added. “However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support.”

Australia’s $10 million AUD (£5.5 million) is still going to help Palestinians, but instead will be directed through the United Nations and be spent directly on education, welfare and medical assistance for needy Palestinians.

Australian politician Eric Abetz welcomed his government’s stance.

“Minister Bishop’s strong and decisive decision today to ensure that the Palestinian Authority can no longer use our aid to free up money in its budget for state-promoted terrorism is very positive,” Abetz said.

“It is vital that we ensure that our foreign aid is not being spent on, or making money available for, the promotion of terrorism and so funneling our aid to the Palestinian Territories through the United Nations will provide greater assurance that the Palestinian Authority’s clever accounting cannot occur,” he added.