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Arab Bank Supported Hamas, Jury Finds
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Arab Bank Supported Hamas, Jury Finds

Summary: Arab Bank PLC was found to have supported the terrorist group Hamas, a United States jury found.

A United States jury found Arab Bank PLC liable for assisting Hamas, the Wall Street Journal reports. The landmark case is the first jury trial verdict against a bank in a civil terrorism-finance case since the Antiterrorism Act of 1990 was created. A decade of litigation preempted the verdict, which may set precedent for additional lawsuits under the Antiterrorism Act. There are several cases pending.


The trial had lasted approximately thirty days. The jury deliberated for two days, apparently finding the bank’s argument that it never knowingly did business with persons on government terrorism watch list unpersuasive.

Lawyers who represented victims of terrorism attacks who were injured or killed in the early 2000s presented evidence that the bank had knowingly routed compensation from Saudi donors to families of suicide bombers. In addition, the attorneys demonstrated that banking services were provided to Hamas leaders and charities that the terrorist group controlled. The United States has deemed Hamas a foreign terrorist organization.

A separate trial must be held to determine the damages that are owed to approximately 300 victims and their family members. These victims were killed or injured in 24 terror attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza over a three-year period from 2001-2004 during the Second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising.

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In response to the verdict, the bank stated, “Arab Bank believes it will ultimately prevail in this case. The trial was infected by scores of errors, and the Bank has very strong grounds for appeal. It will seek prompt review by the Second Circuit.”

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