Australian FM Julie Bishop and Israeli PM
Australian FM Julie Bishop and Israeli PMAmos ben Gershom \ GPO

The Australian government ended direct aid to the Palestinian Authority on Monday over fears it could be used to support people convicted of political violence.

Canberra will halt the $10 million (Australian dollars) ($7.5 million USD) per year it gave to the World Bank's trust fund for Palestinian Authority recovery and development, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

"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 said in a statement.

"I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended.

"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 will instead send the money to the United Nations' Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories, which provides PA and Gaza residents with health care, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter.

The fund helps 1.9 million people and around three-quarters of its money is
spent in Gaza.

Canberra's decision comes amid worsening relations between the Palestinian Authority and Australia's key ally, the United States.