Maritime Lawfare Victory: Lloyd’s Won’t Insure Gaza Flotilla
Leading insurance market says anybody acting for benefit of Hamas would not be insured, as a result of action by Israeli NGO.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/23/2011, 6:44 PM / Last Update: 5/23/2011, 7:07 PM
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Leading insurance market Lloyd’s of London has stated it will not insure boats headed toward Gaza in another flotilla designed to assist the Hamas government there.
The assurance was made in a letter to Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Shurat HaDin organization, after the organization sent out letters to numerous insurance companies threatening to sue them if they insure the next Gaza flotilla.
The letter from Lloyd’s states as follows:
Dear Mrs Darshan-Leitner,Thank you for your letter dated 15 May 2011 in relation to the Gaza Naval Expedition.As you correctly point out in your letter, Hamas is subject to UK and EU terrorist financing sanctions. As such any vessel identified as being owned or controlled by that organisation would not be permitted to be insured by underwriters at Lloyd's, or any other EU insurer.The Lloyd's Market has robust systems in place to ensure international sanctions are followed and therefore any underwriter identifying an insured or prospective insured acting on behalf of, or for the benefit of Hamas, would not insure such a risk.Whilst I understand that your letter has also been sent to all major maritime insurers, should you have any specific concerns or examples of underwriters at Lloyd's not complying with such international sanctions, I would ask to hear from you as a matter of urgency.Yours sincerely,Andy WraggSenior ManagerLloyd's International Regulatory Affairs
Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center is a civil rights organization dedicated to combating terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world.
The group has explained that “instead of sitting passively by and waiting for another international diplomatic crisis to play out into the Islamic extremists' hands,” it has embarked on a campaign to try and legally block the extremists from setting sail.
The idea is succinctly expressed on the group's website:
Every boat that travels from any country's seaports or marinas needs to have maritime insurance. Without insurance a ship is not permitted to set sail. Yet, the maritime insurance companies insuring the boats utilized by the Gaza Flotilla surely have no idea that the passenger boats that they are indemnifying are being used by the organizers to run the coastal blockade, violently challenge the IDF and smuggle weapons into Gaza. No legitimate insurance company nor its shareholders would reasonably agree to insure an expedition like that.As such, we have begun to send letters placing the maritime insurance companies on notice concerning the Gaza Flotilla and warning them that if they provide insurance (a necessary component in the effort to smuggle contraband to the terrorists) that they themselves will be legally liable for any future terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas. The letters are being sent to all the maritime insurance firms in Europe and Turkey.We are cautioning them that if they knowingly insure one of the Flotilla boats providing material resources to Hamas, they will also be indemnifying the Hamas rocket crews for all future Qassam missile attacks as the terror victims will surely sue them! We are hoping that when their legal departments review our letters and inform the corporation's officials of the potential massive liability being risked they will act to ensure that none of their ships are being utilized by the terrorists.
"The government and the IDF are extremely adept at adapting to new military threats and battlefield suprises," the group says. "They do not seem to be able to get a handle on the new way the delegitimization game is being played globally." For that reason, it has decided to act on its own -- and has scored a success.