NGO: No Protection for Israeli Banks with PA Ties in Terrorism Lawsuits

A money exchanger holds a handful of Israeli shekels in the market place on June 12, 2015, Gaza City, Gaza.
Christopher Furlong/Getty

The Jerusalem Post reports: Shurat Hadin, an Israeli NGO that focuses on litigating terrorism cases, wrote a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon last Tuesday arguing that any Israeli banks that cooperate with the Palestinian Authority or its banks should not be protected against anti-terrorism lawsuits.

If Kahlon agrees, it could lead Israeli financial institutions to sever ties from Palestinian banks and the PA for fear of lawsuits, and severely damage the Palestinian economy.

“Any encouragement or support given by the state, by the Finance Ministry, by you, or by those acting on your behalf, to any Israeli or international bank in order for them to continue their engagement with the Palestinian banks, let alone any guarantee of protection against anti-terrorism suits, are liable to put relevant persons in breach of many legal provisions,” including those against financing terrorism and money laundering, the group wrote.

In February, The Jerusalem Post’s sister paper Maariv reported that Bank Hapoalim and Discount Bank were considering severing ties from Palestinian banks due to fears that the funds would be used to fund terrorism, and expose the Israeli banks to lawsuits both in Israel and abroad.

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