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Thursday, September 28, 2006

New York lawsuit by Israeli terror victims against National Westminster allowed to proceed

A Federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York yesterday denied motions to dismiss two counts of a civil complaint filed by Israeli terror victims against National Westminster Bank, now a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland. A third count in the complaint was dismissed with leave to amend the complaint within thirty days.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Brooklyn last year on behalf of individuals injured or killed in 10 terrorist attacks in Israel in 2002 and 2003 or their surviving family members.

"There is still a long way to go, but it is now abundantly clear that the victims will get their day in court, and we very much look forward to presenting the evidence at trial," a lawyer for the defendants, Robert Swift, said in a statement.

Yesterday, Judge Sifton threw out a claim that NatWest aided and abetted the murder or serious bodily injury of American nationals by its provision of services to Interpal, a London-based charity that allegedly acts as a fundraising arm for Hamas. The judge gave the plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint on that claim within 30 days.

The judge allowed to go forward claims that NatWest knowingly provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization by providing financial services to Interpal and several other charities believed to financially support Hamas.

He also allowed to proceed claims that NatWest unlawfully and willfully provided or collected funds with the intention that such funds be used or with the knowledge that such funds would be used for terrorist purposes through its financial dealings with Interpal and other charities.
According to a blog entry dated June 1, 2006,
Tzvi Weiss, a 20-year-old trainee rabbi, said in a lawsuit filed in September at a U.S. District Court in New York that he suffered torn eardrums and a cut hand when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem in August 2003, killing 13 people and injuring more than 130. Another 14 families who suffered death or injury in 10 separate bombings and shootings in Israel between March 2002 and August 2003 have joined the suit, according to an amended complaint filed yesterday. Hamas claimed responsibility for all of the attacks. [It sounds like Mr.? Rabbi? Weiss was a passenger on the number 2 bus in Jerusalem that was blown up on Shmuel HaNavi Street on its way back from the Western Wall. My insurance agent's granddaughter was killed in that attack, and her son and daughter-in-law were both wounded. CiJ]
A similar lawsuit is pending in New Jersey against LCL, a unit of Credit Agricole.

That lawsuit was filed by Moses (Moshe?) Strauss, 23, who was injured in the same attack as Weiss. Strauss says in his lawsuit that LCL, which used to be known as Credit Lyonnais, provided financial services to Le Comite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestinians, even though the French charity was alleged to have links with Hamas.

You can find more on Interpal here.

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