By Massoud A. Derhally
US-Israeli injured by gunfire from Gaza into Israel claimed bank had funded Hamas
A federal judge in the US has dismissed a lawsuit against Jordan's Arab Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, filed by a dual US-Israeli citizen injured in a shootout.
US District Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn, New York, dismissed the lawsuit on November 6 brought against Arab Bank by Mati Gill, who could not prove the bank was responsible for injuries he sustained in 2008 from gunshots fired from Gaza into Israel, according to a statement carried by Jordan state news agency Petra. At the time of the incident Gill was serving as an aide to the then Israeli public security minister.
The judge said "the evidence does not prove that the bank acted with an improper state of mind or proximately caused plaintiff's injury,'' the agency reported, citing an Arab Bank statement.
Gill alleged that Arab Bank had provided financial support to Hamas in Gaza and was seeking monetary damages under the US Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows victims of attacks by US-designated foreign terrorist organisations to seek compensation.
"The court has evaluated the entire record, and it dismissed the case concluding that the bank was not responsible for the plaintiff's injuries," Arab Bank said in a statement.
Arab Bank consistently complies with laws and monitoring requirements imposed by domestic and international authorities, Petra reported, citing Chairman Sabih Masri. The bank, he added, is committed to international regulations on fighting terrorism and money laundering.
The case is one of a handful filed against the bank since 2004 in the US, which Petra cited Masri as saying are baseless.
In 2004, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) confiscated funds from Arab Bank's branch in West Bank city of Ramallah as part of an investigation into allegations that certain account holders were supporting terrorism.
Five years later, the IDF published a letter stating that it had no evidence that Arab Bank, any of its account holders, directors or employees, were involved with any terrorist causes or their funding.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.