U.S. court throws out verdict on Arab Bank's Hamas support

U.S. appeals court throws out 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting Hamas attacks in Israel.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Arab Bank
Arab Bank
iSTock

A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting terrorist attacks in Israel linked to Hamas, Reuters reported.

The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ends 13-1/2 years of litigation over Arab Bank’s liability, which the Jordanian lender has disputed, for 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s.

In September 2014, a federal jury found Arab Bank liable for providing material support to Hamas in two dozen attacks attributed to the terrorist group. Nearly 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks, between 2001-2004, were plaintiffs in the suit.

The ruling was appealed, but in May 2015, a District Court decided to uphold the verdict due to an overwhelming amount of evidence against the company.

The appeals court said in Friday's ruling that jurors in Brooklyn were instructed incorrectly by the trial judge that under federal law, Arab Bank committed an “act of international terrorism” by knowingly providing material support to Hamas, which the Department of State designated in 1997 as a foreign terrorist organization.

In August 2015, 11 months after the verdict, Arab Bank had reached a confidential settlement with 527 victims or relatives of victims of 22 of the attacks, pending the bank’s appeal of the verdict.

Both sides agreed to forgo a retrial if the verdict were thrown out. Had it been affirmed, the plaintiffs would have been entitled to at least $100 million, Friday’s decision said.

Sarri Singer, injured in a 2003 Hamas-linked bombing of a bus in Jerusalem, said in a statement about Arab Bank, “Families hurt by them are going to get the help they need.”

In a statement, Arab Bank said “the district court’s errors at trial all but dictated an adverse outcome. The bank is pleased to put this case behind it.”

Arab Bank had been accused of handling transactions for Hamas, and routing money to charities that supported the group or families of suicide bombers.

The settlement averted a trial to determine damages that Arab Bank would have paid victims of three of the attacks.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)








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