For over a decade the residents of the city of Sderot (population 20,700) have endured rocket and missile attacks on an almost daily basis. In fact, Sderot has been given title: "The Most Shelled City in the World"!
And for years these residents had no legal recourse to stop or punish the terrorist who attacked them. The victims of terror groups (Especially those receiving funds from banking institutions.) They now have a resource to hit back. The US Courts.
While the citizens of Sderot cannot sue Hamas directly (Although it would be interesting to see if they could in International Court.), they can sue the banks, lending institutions, and "charities" that "donate" to Hamas and other terror groups in the name of Humanitarian Aid.
The citizens of Sderot have served papers on the Bank of China.
The New York Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling stating that Israeli victims of terrorist attacks from Gaza may proceed with a lawsuit against the Bank of China (BOC), which transferred cash to Gaza terrorist groups. The ruling was a victory for the Israel Law Center and its clients, victims of terrorism and their families.If successful then other institutions will then be targeted. If one cannot destroy the terrorists on the ground, then we will cut off their funding. If they cannot buy weapons and the materials necessary to attack and destroy their neighbors, if they cannot fund their programs of hate, if they cannot reward the families of terrorists with huge cash sums, they just might go out of business. It is a hope.
Prosecutors say the BOC allowed Gaza terrorists to conduct wire transfers of several million dollars, beginning in 2003. The dollar transfers began with terrorist leaders in Iran and Syria, were processed by BOC branches in the United States. From there they were sent to accounts in Beijing, and from there funds were transferred to Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
The money was then used to fund terrorist attacks. Among those attacks were a suicide bombing in Eilat in 2007 that murdered three people and rocket attacks on the city of Sderot, in which several were murdered and many others left with life-long wounds.
Cash transfers continued despite requests from Israeli counter-terrorism officials, who demanded in early 2005 that China take action to stop the BOC from sending cash to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The transfers continued until 2007.
More than 80 victims of attacks and their families are seeking both compensation and punitive damages. Their case was put forth by the Israel Law Center's Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, working alongside New York attorney Robert Tolchin.
The BOC had argued that the case was frivolous and that the BOC was not responsible for Hamas' actions. The defense later argued that if the case was allowed to go ahead, it should continue in China under Chinese law.
The court not only allowed the case to proceed, but said it can continue in New York. The BOC's decision not to seek a move to Chinese courts in a second case indicates that the bank will not find it unduly hard to continue with the trial in the United States, justices said.
A preliminary conference prior to the discovery stage of the trial was set for September 14.