Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday slammed Iran’s announcement from a day earlier that it will offer monetary rewards to the families of Palestinian terrorists killed while attacking Israelis, or those whose homes have been demolished by the Israeli government in response to such attacks.
Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fathali made the announcement at a news conference in Beirut on Wednesday, a month after the official lifting of international sanctions against Iran as part of the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers last summer. Iran’s sanctions relief amounts to approximately $150 billion.
“The decision firstly includes giving an amount worth $7,000 to every family of a martyr of the intifada in Jerusalem,” and secondly it includes giving “$30,000 to every family whose home the occupation (Israel) has demolished for the participation of one of its sons,” Fathali said, Reuters reported.
“This shows that Iran, even after the nuclear agreement, is continuing to aid terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, Hezbollah terrorism, and its assistance to Hamas. This is something that the nations of the world must confront and condemn and assist Israel—and other countries, of course—in repelling,” Netanyahu said at the start of a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Thursday.
A senior Hamas official in Gaza confirmed that the Iranian decision was reached several weeks ago during a Hamas-Iran meeting in Tehran.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Iran of building an international terror network of “sleeper cells” that extends to the U.S. and Europe.
“The Iranian regime, through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, is building a complex terror infrastructure including sleeping cells that are stockpiling arms, intelligence, and operatives, and are ready to act on order including in Europe and America,” Ya’alon said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart, Fotis Fotiou, the Associated Press reported. He added that Iran is training, funding, and arming “emissaries” around the world, as well as creating a ”dangerous axis” that includes Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Sanaa, and other major cities in the Middle East.