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US court chucks case against charities supporting settlements

Palestinian group sought damages from institutions, claimed funding helped finance ‘terrorist attacks’ by Jews in West Bank

Illustrative photo of a West Bank settlement, December 17, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a West Bank settlement, December 17, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The US Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s dismissal of an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians that sought damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Jews in the West Bank.

The complaint was filed against five US-based charities that financially support settlement activity: Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, the Hebron Fund, Central Fund of Israel, One Israel Fund and American Friends of Ateret Cohanim. The plaintiffs alleged that financial support of these charities violated antiterrorism laws.

“American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities in the trial and appellate courts, said in a news release sent Friday.

The Palestinian plaintiffs argued that the settlements “in and of themselves…are a violation of the law of nations,” Lewin said.

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