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The Shurat HaDin Legal Rights Organization appealed to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) Tuesday, warning him not to provide indemnity or collateral to Israeli banks which choose to remain associated with Palestinian Authority (PA) banks.
Bank HaPoalim and Discount Bank recently announced that they would sever their ties with PA banks for fear of exposure to legal proceedings in respect of aid to finance terrorism. Palestinian banks work closely with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the PLO, give millions of dollars each year in salaries to terrorist prisoners and their families, financial assistance to families of suicide bombers, and salary payments to government officials who work with Hamas. These activities fall under the umbrella term of “financing terrorism.”
Other banks have yet to follow suit, however – and Shurat HaDin’s Nitsana Darshan-Leitner warned Kahlon not to provide collateral of indemnity to those banks who choose to stay in touch with their PA counterparts.
“Any encouragement or support, to be provided by the state, by the Ministry of Finance, by you or by anyone acting on your behalf, to any Israeli or international bank which continues engagement with Palestinian banks – or, even moreso, guarantee indemnification protection from lawsuits against terrorism – could bring the persons concerned to breach of provisions, including the prohibition of monetary terrorism, the illegal prohibition of money laundering, the Combating Organized Crime and Terrorism Prevention Ordinances as well as US anti-terror laws,” Darshan-Leitner stated.
“Breaking these laws exposes the banks, and anyone assisting them to these activities in any way, criminal proceedings on behalf of the authorities and/or civil lawsuits from victims of terrorism and their families, in Israel and abroad,” she continued.
“It is inconceivable that the State of Israel sponsors activities supporting terrorism, and provides collateral to Israeli banks from criminal proceedings with terror groups.”
“Continued engagement with Palestinian banks can be done only under the clear and detailed commitment of the Palestinian banks to stop transfers to terrorist organizations, including Palestinian prisoners, families of suicide bombers, or officers of Hamas in Gaza,” she concluded. “All other contracts are unlawful.”