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Netanyahu: Nuclear deal enabled Iran to pay terrorists' families

Israeli PM says new package offering tens of thousands of dollars to terrorists' families made possible by western sanctions relief.

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Hamas terrorists in Gaza
Hamas terrorists in Gaza
Reuters

Israel on Thursday denounced an Iranian decision to give thousands of dollars to relatives of Arab terrorists killed trying to murder Israelis.  

Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, said Wednesday that Tehran would offer $7,000 to the families of each Palestinian terrorist killed in what he called the "Jerusalem intifada."

Iran will also give $30,000 to families of terrorists whose homes have been destroyed by Israeli forces for supporting or not reporting their relative's plans to carry out an attack, he told a news conference in Beirut.

According to Iran's official news agency IRNA, representatives of the Palestinian Islamist terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as Lebanese Shiite jihadist group Hezbollah, met with Fathali in Beirut.

The money pledged is in addition to the monthly aid paid since 1987 by an Iranian institution to families of Arab terrorists killed by Israeli forces, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu linked the new Iranian initiative to the controversial nuclear deal reached with western powers last year, which is set to free up billions of dollars in sanctions relief for Tehran - much of which the deal's supporters, including the US government, have previous admitted will certainly be used to fund global terrorism.

"This shows that Iran, even after the nuclear agreement (with world powers), is continuing to aid terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, Hezbollah terrorism and its assistance to Hamas," Netanyahu said on Thursday before meeting his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in Jerusalem.

"This is something that the nations of the world must confront and condemn and assist Israel - and other countries, of course - in repelling," he added.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, has written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging condemnation of the Iranian initiative, Israel public radio reported.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming terror attacks that erupted last year has claimed the lives of more than 30 victims, and wounded hundreds more. 

Netanyahu, under political pressure to halt the violence, has moved to expedite demolitions of alleged attackers' homes as a deterrent measure. Those families who hand in their relatives who plan attacks are not subjected to such measures, however.

AFP contributed to this report.