The Israel Law Center (Shurat Hadin) on Sunday filed a lawsuit demanding damages in the amount of NIS 500 million against Hamas – and against three money-changers in Yerushalayim, whose services the terror group used to collect money for use in terror attacks.
The lawsuit is being filed by five families who have lost loved ones to terror attacks. The victims include Shir Hajaj, Hy”d, and Erek Orbach, Hy”d, both of whom were killed in a terror attack in the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv two years ago; Nechemia Lavie, Hy”d, killed in a terror attack in the Old City of Yerushalayim four years ago; Elchai Taharlev, Hy”d, and Amid Ish-Ran, Hy”d, both killed in car terror incidents two and a half years ago.
Besides suing Hamas, the families are suing the money-changers, the first time members of this profession have been implicated as defendants in terror attacks. The money-changers are accused of knowingly working with Hamas, transferring money from Iran to the terror group. While the likelihood of getting the full amount being demanded is low, the attorneys behind the case believe, their objective is to expand the case to an action in the United States, where the money-changers are known to have accounts with large sums. By proving that they work with Hamas, a recognized terror organization, the Center hopes to initiate an action in U.S. courts that will result in the seizure of the money-changers’ assets.
According to Center director Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, “it is an endless battle, but the only way to weaken terror groups is to harm their funding. Money enables Hamas to control Gaza, it is what enables them to manufacture rockets and mortars, and it is what enables them to manage an army of murderous terrorists. If we cut off their money supply we can bring about their downfall.”