Arab Bank set­tles lit­i­ga­tion on Mideast at­tacks

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JEN­NIE MATTHEW

Arab Bank has reached a set­tle­ment with hun­dreds of U.S. vic­tims of at­tacks in Is­rael and the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries who filed a law­suit ac­cus­ing the bank of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism.

A spokesper­son for the bank con­firmed to AFP that an agree­ment had been reached, but pro­vided no de­tails of the set­tle­ment. The amount of the set­tle­ment was not im­me­di­ately re­vealed.

One of the lawyers for the plain­tiffs, Michael El­sner, con­firmed an agree­ment had been reached to set­tle the lit­i­ga­tion. “The frame- work will be fi­nal­ized over the next few months,” he said.

The Jor­dan- based multi­na­tional len­der, which is hugely re­spected in the Mid­dle East, was found li­able by a U.S. jury last year for fi­nanc­ing ter­ror­ism by trans­fer­ring funds for mem­bers of Ha­mas.

The set­tle­ment an­nounce­ment comes just days be­fore the dam­ages por­tion of the trial was to be­gin in a U.S. fed­eral court in Brook­lyn, where a jury would have de­ter­mined how much com­pen­sa­tion the bank would have to pay to 17 plain­tiffs.

Orig­i­nally set for Mon­day, a fed­eral judge on Fri­day for­mally post­poned the start of the dam­ages trial un­til May 2016.

The land­mark case in­volved 300 plain­tiffs — vic­tims and rel­a­tives of vic­tims of more than 20 Ha­mas at­tacks car­ried out in Is­rael, Gaza and the West Bank be­tween 2001 and 2004.

Another 200 Amer­i­can plain­tiffs filed sep­a­rate suits against the bank re­lated to at­tacks car­ried out by other armed groups.

In the li­a­bil­ity por­tion of the trial, the jury found the bank li­able for 24 Ha­mas at­tacks, although Judge Brian Co­gan later dis­missed two of them.

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