US Supreme Court to rule on Arab Bank terror-financing

Terror victims seek damages from the Arab Bank over its part in the financing of Palestinian terrorism.  

The US Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Jordan-based Arab Bank can be liable for claims it helped finance terror attacks against Israelis.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal from victims and their families seeking damages for attacks that took place between 1995 and 2005.

The victims and their relatives argue the bank is liable for providing material support to terrorist groups.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled the bank was immune from such lawsuits. But that ruling split from other federal appeals courts, which have found that corporations can be sued for damages under the federal Alien Tort Statute.

The Alien Tort Statute is a 1789 law that allows federal district courts to hear “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”

Victims in the case allege the bank, through the involvement of its New York branch, knowingly distributed millions of dollars to finance suicide bombings and make so-called “martyrdom” payments to reward the families of terrorists who killed civilians.

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The bank denies the allegations and argues that allowing the victims’ claims to go forward would interfere with US foreign policy and lead to diplomatic friction.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, Jesner v. Arab Bank, 16-499, when its new term begins in the fall.

The plaintiffs in the case said the bank had “served as the ‘paymaster’ for Hamas and other terrorist organizations, helping them identify and pay the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists.”

By: AP and World Israel News Staff