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US Supreme Court considers Arab Bank culpability for Hamas attacks

October 12, 2017 at 9:21 am

Arab Bank [Jean pierre/Wikipedia]

The US Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday concerning the possible culpability of the Arab Bank Plc for attacks carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, against Israeli targets. The court discussed whether the bank can be sued under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute which allows foreign nationals to sue commercial entities in American courts over acts violating international law or US treaties.

The new lawsuit includes nearly 6,000 foreign nationals who claim that the bank helped to channel funding to Hamas through its New York branch to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as give financial rewards to the perpetrators’ families.

In a similar action, the New York court ruled in 2013 in favour of the Arab Bank, saying that it was immune to lawsuits filed by foreign nationals because it was a commercial entity and that the court cannot consider claims by non-US citizens. However, the Court allowed the families of US citizens to continue the case.

Read: Hamas rebukes US’ ‘pro-Israel bias’

This is not the first complaint against the Arab Bank. In 2014, Israelis holding dual US citizenship filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court in Brooklyn against the bank on charges of financing attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The plaintiffs, who claimed to have been victims of some twelves attacks carried out between 2001 and 2004 in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, demanded major compensation for their losses.