Arab Bank Found Liable for Backing Hamas

U.S. jury says the Arab Bank provided material support to Hamas and must compensate families of victims of terrorist attacks.

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Ben Ariel,

Aftermath of suicide bombing attack
Aftermath of suicide bombing attack
Flash 90

A U.S. jury on Monday said that the Arab Bank provided material support to Hamas, Reuters reported.

The jury said that the bank must therefore compensate the victims of two dozen attacks the group allegedly carried out in Israel and Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.

The judgment, which followed a closely watched six-week trial in a Brooklyn federal court, came in what lawyers said was the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the United States.

Nearly 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks had sued Arab Bank.

They accused the Jordan-based bank of knowingly maintaining accounts for Hamas operatives, and financing millions in payments for the families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, that began in 2000.

The bank went on trial in New York on August 14, and a defense lawyer for the bank told the jury last week that there is no evidence that the bank’s executives supported terrorism.

The families of several Americans killed in attacks in the early 2000s allege the bank violated the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act when it served as a conduit for money from a Saudi Arabian fund to the Palestinian Arab families.

The lawyer, Shand Stephens, claimed however that Arab Bank provided routine, internationally approved banking services and that none of the charities, which the plaintiffs say were Hamas fronts, were on any terror blacklist.

"None of them, not one, nada is on the U.S., UN or EU list during that very time. Not one," he said.

The plaintiffs filed their suit in 2004, four years into the Second Intifada terror war that left thousands dead.

They said Arab Bank was the conduit by which the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Intifada Al-Quds fund sent money to the families of Palestinian Arabs who died - including suicide bombers.








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