The Jordan-based Arab Bank, strategically chosen by Palestinian terrorist groups, converted various currencies into dollars then wire transferred payments to the accounts of known Hamas operatives who murdered Israeli-Americans, violated international norms barring the funding of terrorism, so, will be judged by the U.S. Supreme Court.
By Yair Altman
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday was scheduled to hold its first hearing on a lawsuit filed by Israeli victims of terrorism against Arab Bank Plc, claiming it knowingly funded Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas.
The Jordan-based Arab Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East. It has 190 branches worldwide and holds accounts for various governments and global conglomerates.
In 2013, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that as a commercial entity, the bank was immune to lawsuits by Israeli nationals, adding that the court itself had no jurisdiction in cases involving plaintiffs who are not American citizens.
The ruling did, however, note the victims’ American families could pursue the matter further, which they did.
Members of the Almagor Terror Victims Association who hold dual Israeli-American citizenship are expected to argue that by converting various currencies to dollars and allowing wire transfers to the accounts of known Hamas operatives, the bank violated international norms barring the funding of terrorism.
The lawsuit claims Arab Bank was in violation of “pacta sunt servanda” (Latin for “agreements must be kept”) – a basic principle in civil, canon and international law that, with reference to international accords and norms, states that “every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.”
“We, the families of Israeli victims of terror, believe we have the right to sue those who were accomplices – before and after the fact – to the murder of our children. We see the war on terror of any kind as a sacred act not only for our dead children’s sake but in defense of our living children,” a statement by Almagor said.
“Terrorism is a long chain of evil comprising many links. Funding is a main link on this chain and must be fought in Israel and abroad. This lawsuit was filed many years ago and it has been preventing the bank from pursuing its policy of funding terrorist organizations, which is a victory unto itself in this war.
“Terrorism today is international and it strikes indiscriminately. Israel is no longer the only country to be plagued by terrorism – Paris, London and Barcelona are but a few of the places struck by Muslim terrorism in recent years.
“Our standing in the American court cannot be questioned and the Arab Bank cannot be afforded immunity of any kind from lawsuits over its role in encouraging terrorism and funding of terrorists’ families. We will see this through until we are successful,” the statement said.
A statement by the Arab Bank said that it believes that just as previous U.S. courts have dismissed similar lawsuits in the past, this case will be dismissed as well.
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