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US Supreme Court takes up appeal in terror financing case

Justices will decide whether Jordan-based Arab Bank can be liable for claims it helped fund terror attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

The Arab Bank's main offices in the Jordanian capital of Amman, August 16, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)
The Arab Bank's main offices in the Jordanian capital of Amman, August 16, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Jordan-based Arab Bank can be liable for claims it helped finance terror attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal from victims and their families seeking damages for attacks that took place between 1995 and 2005.

The victims and their relatives argue that the bank is liable for providing material support to terrorist groups.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the bank was immune from such lawsuits. But that ruling split from other federal appeals courts, which have found that corporations can be sued for damages under the federal Alien Tort Statute.

Victims in the case allege that the bank, through the involvement of its New York branch, knowingly distributed millions of dollars to finance suicide bombings and make so-called “martyrdom” payments to reward the families of militants who killed civilians.

The bank denies the allegations and argues that allowing the victims’ claims to go forward would interfere with US foreign policy and lead to diplomatic friction.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, Jesner v. Arab Bank, 16-499, when its new term begins in the fall.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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