A Middle Eastern bank has reached a settlement with hundreds of American plaintiffs, including victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, who had filed a lawsuit against the bank accusing it of supporting terrorism.
A spokesman for the bank, Arab Bank, and a spokeswoman for one of the plaintiffs’ law firms confirmed Friday that an agreement had been reached, but declined to offer additional details, including the amount of the settlement.
Last year, a jury in Federal District Court in Brooklyn found Arab Bank liable for financing terrorism by processing transactions for Hamas members. The second phase of the trial, assessing the damages Arab Bank would have to pay to victims of attacks by Hamas, was scheduled to start Monday.
All of the plaintiffs are victims of Hamas attacks or family members of people who were killed.
A person who had been briefed on the case, but was not authorized to speak publicly about it because details of the settlement were confidential, said that the settlement covered all the claims brought by plaintiffs under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, a total of about 500 plaintiffs.
About 300 plaintiffs were part of the trial, and 17 of those were included in the phase of the trial set to start Monday, which was meant to be a sort of bellwether for how much the bank might owe.
The Hamas claims were tried first, but there were other claims against Arab Bank involving terrorist groups other than Hamas. Those have not been tried, but plaintiffs in those claims were part of the settlement, the person briefed on the case said.