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NEW YORK-Israelis and other foreign nationals can pursue claims in U.S. courts accusing the Jordan-based Arab Bank of promoting Palestinian suicide attacks by funneling Saudi money to bombers’ families, a judge ruled.
In a written decision in federal court in Brooklyn, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon upheld a lawsuit Monday filed under U.S. law that gives non-U.S. citizens access to courts in order to challenge violations of international laws or treaties.
Lawyers for Arab Bank had asked Gershon to toss out the suit, arguing that U.S. courts lacked proper jurisdiction.
Though the judge dismissed portions of the suit, her ruling still allows thousands of suicide bombing victims and their families to seek unspecified damages, said a plaintiff lawyer, Michael Elsner.
“Today was an incredible victory for victims of suicide bombing attacks and other acts of violence in Israel and an important lesson to banks and private individuals that aid and abet acts of terrorism,” he said. “They may be held civilly liable in the United States, even if those acts occur outside the United States.”
Arab Bank spokeswoman Phyllis Cuttino says the bank “abhors terrorism”.