U.S. court rules Arab Bank liable for Hamas terror

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — Arab Bank provided material support to Hamas, a U.S. court found, and must compensate the victims of 24 attacks carried out by the terror group.

Jurors in Brooklyn District Court delivered the verdict Monday following two days of deliberations and a six-week trial, Reuters reported, in what is believed to be the first civil case on terrorism financing to come to trial in the United States.

Damages will be determined at a future trial.

Nearly 300 American citizens who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks in Israel and the West Bank sued the Jordan-based bank in 2004, accusing it of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The bank was accused of knowingly handling accounts for Hamas operatives, as well as financing millions in payments for the families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the second Palestinian intifada.

Lawyers for the bank had argued that it merely offered routine banking services, and most of the people and organizations named by the plaintiffs had not been designated by the U.S. government as terrorists at the time.