Arab Bank Settles US

Published: August 15, 2015

Arab Bank Settles US, Arab Bank has agreed to settle a litigation case brought by hundreds of Americans who accused it of facilitating armed attacks in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, nearly a year after a US jury found the bank liable.

The settlement was confirmed on Friday by Michael Elsner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, and a spokesman for Arab Bank. The terms were not disclosed.

Elsner said the framework of the deal would be finalised over the next few months.

A trial had been scheduled to start on Monday to begin determining how much the bank would have to pay the victims and their families.

The Jordan-based multinational lender was found liable by a US jury in September 2014 for financing terrorism by transferring funds for members of Hamas.

Approximately 500 US citizens had sued Arab Bank under the US Anti-Terrorism Act, which permits US citizens to pursue claims arising from international terrorism.

The plaintiffs included both victims of attacks carried out by Hamas and other groups, as well as family members of the victims.

At trial, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Arab Bank knowingly maintained accounts for Hamas operatives and facilitated payments to families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during a Palestinian uprising beginning in 2000.

Arab Bank argued that it had followed proper screening procedures to checked accounts and transactions against lists of designated terrorist organisations.

Several other banks are facing similar claims in US courts under the Anti-Terrorism Act, including Bank of China, Credit Lyonnais, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, among others.

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