On March 6, 2008, a member of Hamas entered the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and opened fire on hundreds of students with an Ak-47 assault rifle. Eight high school and seminary students were murdered and many others were wounded.
In October 2012, the victims’ families filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the Bank ofChina for proximately causing the attack, seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
The plaintiffs brought an Israeli tort action for negligence, arguing that personal jurisdiction over the defendant exists because of extensive business conducted by Bank of China in New York and because numerous banking transactions between Bank of China and Hamas occurred in New York.
The suit documents that in 2003, dozens of money transfers by the National Chinese Bank totaling millions of dollars infused funds into Hamas’ coffers, financing its terrorist activities.
The funds originated in Syria and Iran, processed by the bank and then sent to the terrorist operative in China. The funds eventually found their way into the hands of terrorists based in PA (Palestinian Authority) autonomous areas throughout Judea and Samaria, as well as Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Israeli counter-terrorism officials followed the money trail and in April 2005, meetings took place with bank officials during which Israel requested halting the money transfers which funded the terrorism. Under China’s approval, Bank of China ignored the Israeli official’s request to halt the transactions.