Arab Bank settles litigation on Mideast attacks
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.