The Palestinian Authority on Sunday said direct financial assistance by Iran to the families of Palestinian terrorists and attackers killed in a five-month wave of violence would be unacceptable, and called for such funding to be directed through a PA .
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a PA presidency spokesman, was quoted in local media as saying that bypassing the Authority in handing out such funds would constitute illegal interference in internal Palestinian affairs.
Tehran announced last week assistance would be offered to families of those killed in the wave of Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that erupted in October 2015. The PA official did not reject the payments, but said such aid must follow official channels.
Iran should “send this money through official channels to the [PA’s] Martyrs and Prisoners Foundation rather than relying on informal and circuitous routes,” Abu Rudeineh said.
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, said Wednesday that Tehran would offer $7,000 to the families of each Palestinian killed in what he called the “Jerusalem intifada.”
Iran will also give $30,000 to Palestinian terrorists’ families whose homes are destroyed by Israel, he told a news conference in Beirut.
The money pledged is in addition to the monthly aid paid since 1987 by an Iranian institution to families of Palestinians killed, the ambassador said.
Twenty-eight Israelis and three foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Nearly 170 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.
Iran has been accused of providing support to Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and is a rival to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party. Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian economists have questioned whether Iran would be capable of distributing the aid to the families directly via banks since it could be considered “terrorism financing.”
The day after Iran’s announcement, Israel denounced the decision, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying it showed Tehran was “continuing to aid terrorism.” Netanyahu has also repeatedly accused the PA of helping to incite the current round of Palestinian terrorism.