A petition to the Israel High Court of Justice filed on Thursday afternoon, which names Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer as respondents, alleges that both the Bank of Israel and the Ministry of Defense are using political pressure to force two Israeli banks, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Hapoalim, to transfer cash to the Hamas-run government, defined by the governments of Israel, Canada, the United States and the EU as a terrorist group and located in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza banks have run out of funds and are unable to replenish cash supplies.

Both Israel Discount Bank and Bank Hapoalim announced in Oct. 2007 they no longer will work with the financial institutions in Gaza because of the terrorist nature of the Gaza regime.

Since then, Mr. Fischer, a former vice-president of CitiGroup, and Mr. Barak have placed immense political pressure on both banks to continue the transfers. The proposed $100 million shekel transfer, which is the equivalent of $25 million, is the largest sum demanded of them.

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The petition notes the likelihood that much of the funds will be siphoned off for use by the terrorist led government in Gaza to continue its attacks on Israeli civilian targets. It also points to violations of Israeli and international law providing financial services to banks in Gaza would entail. In recent years, banks in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia have been sued by terror victims for aiding the terrorist groups by providing them and charities affiliated with them financial services.

“The government might as well be providing truck loads of Qassam rockets instead of cash to Gaza. Fischer and Barak have knowingly allowed for the transfer of 100 million shekels, $25 million to the Hamas-run government providing for at least 22,000 terrorist paychecks,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat HaDin Law Center. “How is it possible that our government continuously supports those which aim to destroy us?”

Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center ( www.israellawcenter.org ) is a Tel Aviv-based lawyers’ organization that utilizes legal proceedings and lawsuits to fight the scourge of international terrorism. Shurat HaDin sues to obstruct and economically harm the terror organizations, their leaders and their financial patrons on behalf of terror victims. In the past, the organization has successfully frozen funds of numerous terrorist organizations and is currently in litigation with American Express Bank, Bank of China and UBS.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.