The former Israeli ambassador to the US has been criticised for describing as "ironic" the Nice terror attack taking place days after the French foreign minister reportedly met officials from militant group Hezbollah.

"It's ironic that the same week during which the French foreign minister met with leaders of #Hezbollah, his country was attacked by #terror," tweeted Danny Ayalon, who served as ambassador from 2002 to 2006, and prior to that was Israel's deputy foreign minister.

The comment drew criticism, with journalist and author Max Blumenthal accusing Ayalon of suggesting that France was to blame for the attack.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US DannyAyalon
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon Getty images

A Shia Islamist political, military and social organisation, Hezbollah emerged with Iranian backing during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s. It carried out attacks on Israel during the 2006 war, and has been accused of plotting and carrying out terror attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets. It is classed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US, Gulf Arab states and the Arab League.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was criticised by Israel after reportedly meeting with officials from Hezbollah in Beirut on Tuesday. The EU classes Hezbollah's militant wing as a terrorist organisation, but not its political wing.

French authorities are treating the Nice incident, in which 84 people were killed, as a terror attack. It comes after two Islamic State-linked terror attacks in Paris last year.

Some critics of Ayalon pointed out that Hezbollah is currently fighting IS (Isis/Daesh) in Syria, where the group backs the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

In the wake of the 13 November Paris attack, in which 130 people were killed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew parallels between the incident and attacks against Israeli settlers on the West Bank. Netanyahu was criticised by European leaders after the January 2015 Paris attacks for calling for European Jews to emigrate to Israel for their safety.

The Israeli governmment has been asked for comment.