US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides told Channel 12 News in an interview on Thursday that if a nuclear deal is reached with Iran, “the Israelis’ hands are not tied. If we don’t have a deal, Israel’s hands are certainly not tied.”

He stressed that “Israel can do and take whatever actions they need to take to protect the State of Israel.”

In a separate interview with Kan 11 News, Nides was asked whether he is comfortable with the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) continue to pay convicted terrorists.

“The administration’s position is that these payments need to stop,” he stressed. “They are terrible and they need to stop…it’s always mentioned. They need to stop the payments.”

“The money [to the PA] is going to the Palestinian people. There are rules. The money is going for education and healthcare, to help the Palestinian people live a better life. Make no mistake. The payments must end,” added Nides.