JTA Breaking News

Syndicate content
The Global Jewish News Source
Updated: 6 hours 42 min ago

IFCJ providing nearly $3 million in holiday aid to Israelis

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 04:47

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews will provide nearly $3 million in direct assistance for the High Holidays to 55,000 needy Israeli families.

The assistance will include 11,000 food vouchers to single-parent families in public housing and to new immigrants to Israel; 8,500 clothing and food vouchers to lone soldiers and needy families; 14,000 aid packages funded through charities for needy families; and 8,100 clothing vouchers for children in youth villages for those in need of welfare and educational support.

“We will increase our assistance to the weakest in society, thanks to the generous donations of hundreds of thousands Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people and wish to strengthen Israeli society,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of the Fellowship, in a statement.

The support is being granted in light of further cuts to the welfare budget, the statement said.

Also in advance of Rosh Hashanah, Leket Israel distributed 1,200 food packages, including nonperishables and fresh chickens to families in the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod, Ofakim, Netivot, Sderot and Ashkelon. The food was purchased from a vendor in the South to help boost the economy of the communities most severely affected by this summer’s Gaza conflict.

Leket received a 20 percent increase in requests for Rosh Hashanah assistance.

Palestinian youths riot on Temple Mount

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 04:21

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Masked Palestinian youths threw stones and bricks and set off firecrackers at Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount.

The riots broke out as the site holy to Jews and Muslims was opened to visitors on Wednesday morning, on the eve of the Jewish New Year.

The youths set up blockades at the entrance to the Al-Aksa Mosque while attacking police guarding the Mughrabi Gate, where non-Muslims enter the compound, according to reports.

Four police officers were injured in the attacks.

Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to control the rioters, who retreated into the mosque, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. Israeli officers chained the doors of the mosque shut with the protesters inside, Maan reported, citing witnesses. Fifteen Palestinian rioters were injured by rubber bullets, according to Maan.

Visitors continued to enter the site. Israel’s minister of housing, Uri Ariel of the right-wing Jewish Home party, visited the site on Wednesday morning.

Restrictions on entering the site for Muslims will be in place during Rosh Hashanah due to fears of rioting, including prohibiting youth from entering.

Yad Vashem back in top 10 among world museums

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 03:38

(JTA) — Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial, was ranked among the top 10 museums in the world for the second straight year.

The website TripAdvisor rated the Jerusalem site 10th among the 25 museums in its Travelers’ Choice awards based upon online ratings and comments by tourists and travelers.

The rankings, which were released last week, placed Yad Vashem behind institutions such as the top-rated Art Institute of Chicago and the second-place National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, but ahead of heavyweight attractions such as the Louvre and the British Museum.

Yad Vashem placed fourth in last year’s rankings. According to its website, the museum draws some 1 million visitors per year.

Arab-Israeli found guilty of training with ISIS

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 16:15

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Arab-Israeli was convicted of entering Syria to join and receive training from the jihadist group ISIS.

Ahmad Sorbaji, 23, of Umm al-Fahm, was found guilty in Haifa District Court on Tuesday of going to Syria and spending four months training with ISIS, both with weapons and religiously.

Israel considers Syria an enemy state and is officially at war with the bordering nation.

“Leaving to take part in military training in any rival nation in general, and in Syria in particular, under the authority of ISIS specifically, presents a security offense which carries great danger to the defense of Israel,” the court ruled, Ynet reported.

Sorbaji traveled from Israel to Turkey in January and then crossed into Syria. He returned to Israel through Turkey. He was arrested at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport upon his return.

Ten Arab-Israelis reportedly have entered Syria to train with ISIS.

Lancet won’t retract Gaza letter over revelations about authors

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 16:05

(JTA) — The Lancet will not retract a letter slamming Israeli policy in Gaza in light of evidence tying two of the authors to support for white supremacist David Duke.

The British medical journal’s editor, Dr. Richard Horton, dismissed evidence that two of the five authors of “An open letter for the people of Gaza,” published in the August issue, had distributed a video by Duke, according to The Telegraph. Horton called the revelations “utterly irrelevant” and “a smear campaign.”

The letter described Israel’s Gaza campaign as “a massacre” and “a ruthless assault.”

NGO Monitor, a media watchdog, unearthed emails of Dr. Paola Manduca, a geneticist at the University of Genoa, and Dr. Swee Ang, an orthopedic surgeon, forwarding a video titled “CNN, Goldman Sachs, and the Zio Matrix” in which Duke accuses Jewish banking, media and political figures of conspiring to create “an unholy tribal alliance.” Duke has had ties to the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups.

In her email, Ang writes, “This is shocking video please watch. This is not about Palestine — it is about all of us!”

Manduca also forwarded an article suggesting that a Jewish conspiracy may have been behind the Boston Marathon bombings.

In response to questions from the Telegraph, Manduca denied being anti-Semitic, but added, “I legitimately use my right of freedom of opinion and do not agree or value the politics of the government of Israel, nor of many others, including Jews in and out of Israel.”

Ang, in turn, told the Telegraph, “I didn’t know who David Duke was, or that he was connected to the Ku Klux Klan. I am concerned that if there is any truth in the video, that Jews control the media, politics and banking, what on earth is going on? I was worried.”

Lancet’s refusal to withdraw the letter in light of the new information has drawn condemnations from respected figures in the British medical establishment.

Mark Pepys, director of the Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit at University College London, wrote that “Horton’s behavior in this case is consistent with his longstanding and wholly inappropriate use of The Lancet as a vehicle for his own extreme political views,” according to the Telegraph.

Pepys added, “It has greatly detracted from the former high standing of the journal.”

Horton dismissed the criticism.

“I don’t honestly see what all this has to do with the Gaza letter,” he told the Telegraph. “I have no plans to retract the letter, and I would not retract the letter even if it was found to be substantiated.”

Only 12 Jews left in Egypt, community leader says

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 14:05

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Only 12 Jews remain in Egypt, the remnant of a community of some 100,000 that lived there until the 1950s, the community’s leader said.

“We are dying, we are drowning, we are finished,” Jewish community head Magda Haroun told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Sept. 18.

Haroun told the BBC that her “first duty is to take care of the human beings,” the remaining Jews, “the old ladies which have no family, are alone.”

“And my second duty and most important one is these things that will never die,” she said, pointing to the religious and ritual objects.

Most of Egypt’s Jews left in the 1950s and 1960s when Egypt and Israel were at war and Jews were accused of being spies.

Haroun was elected head of the Jewish community in April 2013 following the death of Carmen Weinstein. At the time there were about 40 Jews in Egypt, mostly elderly women split between Cairo and Alexandria.

Her father, Chehata Haroun, was a nationalist politician who was anti-Zionist.

 

Israel approves $300 million grant to Intel

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 13:59

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s economic and finance ministries approved a five-year grant of $300 million to the Intel Corp.

Intel also will receive a reduced corporate tax rate of 5 percent for 10 years, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Intel is set to invest about $6 billion in upgrading its chip manufacturing plant in Israel, which is located in the southern town of Kiryat Gat. The upgraded plant will employ an additional 1,000 people by 2023; some 2,500 already work there.

“We approved the biggest investment in the country’s history,” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett told Globes. “Without this grant, Intel would have carried out this large investment in other places, such as in Ireland or the U.S., where the red carpet had already been rolled out for it.”

French chief rabbi: Non-Muslims in Middle East akin to Holocaust victims

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:44

(JTA) — French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia made an urgent plea to Europe to defend non-Muslims in the Middle East, whom he likened to Holocaust victims.

Speaking Sunday at the Grand Synagogue in Paris at a commemoration for Holocaust victims, Korsia cited the Yazidis’ plight in Iraq as an example of a minority group in need of protection.

“The situation of religious minorities all over the world and especially in the Middle East resonates, unfortunately, with our commemoration today,” Korsia was quoted as saying by the French news agency AFP. “As our parents wore the yellow star, Christians are made to wear the scarlet letter of ‘nun.’ ”

The Hebrew letter nun is the same sound as the beginning of Nazareen, an Arabic term signifying people from Nazareth, or Christians.

According to reports, Muslim men in areas of Iraq that are controlled by the ISIS jihadist group have ordered Christians to wear the 14th letter of the Arabic letter on their clothes to make them instantly recognizable.

The ISIS fighters are also accused of murdering and torturing Christians as well as Yazidis, a predominantly Kurdish ethnic group that has adhered to a syncretic religion despite many years of oppression and threatened extermination.

“Hundreds of Yazidis were buried alive, their women sold as slaves,” said Korsia, adding that he wished for “a more urgent reaction by European nations, by France, to the attack on our fundamental roots, like what happened during the Holocaust” and that “we don’t arrive too late.”

U.S. providing additional $71 million in Gaza aid

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:21

(JTA) — The United States said it will provide $71 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians in Gaza.

The funds announced Monday by Secretary of State John Kerry are above the $47 million pledged by the U.S. for emergency needs in Gaza in the wake of Israel’s military operation in the coastal strip.

From the new funding, $59 million will go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, the State Department said in a statement. The rest will go to other agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

“The United States remains committed to addressing the needs of the Palestinian people,” the statement said. 

 

Lithuanian parliament OKs ritual slaughter

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:15

(JTA) —  The parliament in Lithuania passed a law permitting ritual slaughter in the country, spurring a protest by animal rights activists.

The measure passed Tuesday stipulates that animals can be killed by slitting their throat without first being stunned — a requirement in religious Jewish law and by observant Muslims — the Baltic News Service reported.

Brigita Kymantaite, leader of the Lithuanian Animals Rights Protection Organization, said her organization would motion the European Commission “to clarify whether the provision is in line with European laws.”

The vote passed in parliament with a majority of 57 lawmakers in favor, four against and 11 abstaining, the RTL broadcaster reported.

A draft for the bill was passed by a large majority last year, 10 months after a ruling by the constitutional court of neighboring Poland outlawed ritual slaughter there in a move that paralyzed the country’s for-export industry of kosher and halal meat.

The ruling was made on a motion filed by animal rights activists who argued a government regulation from 2004 that allowed halal and kosher slaughter, or shechitah, was illegal.

Faina Kukliansky, the chairwoman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, welcomed the new law’s passage.

“I can only welcome the step and express the gratitude of the Lithuanian Jewish Community,” she told the Baltic News Service. “I believe I can thank parliament also on behalf of Jewish communities in Europe.”

Shechitah is banned in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland and Iceland.

European regulations say animals should be stunned prior to slaughter but allow individual countries to determine exceptions to the rule as necessary.

Cease-fire talks begin in Cairo despite Palestinian balk

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 09:39

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Indirect cease-fire negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in Cairo despite Palestinian threats to suspend them over Israel’s killing of two Palestinians accused in the murder of three Israeli teens.

The talks began Tuesday afternoon. They started two hours later than scheduled while the Palestinian delegation decided whether to boycott over the deaths earlier in the day of Marwan Kawasme and Omar Abu Aysha, who were suspected of kidnapping and killing the teens in June.

Israeli troops surrounded the Hebron house in which Kawasme and Aysha, both suspected of being Hamas members, were hiding and killed them in a firefight.

The delegation condemned the killings before deciding to continue with the negotiations, which were set as part of the original Aug. 26 cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas to end 50 days of conflict in Gaza.

At the request of Israel, the talks were moved forward one day from their originally scheduled date so they would not conflict with the observance of Rosh Hashanah.

Tuesday’s talks are meant to set a schedule for negotiations to be held in October, Azzam Ahmed, the Fatah official leading the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, told Reuters.

Topics up for discussion are reported to include building a Gaza seaport and airport, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the return of the remains of Israeli soldiers.

Israeli airstrike downs Syrian warplane

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:28

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli Air Force shot down a Syrian warplane that crossed into Israeli airspace.

A Patriot anti-aircraft missile hit the warplane after it crossed the border Tuesday morning, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The breach of Israel’s border with Syria “is a continuation of the growing tension this border has experienced in recent months,”  the IDF said.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday that the Syrian warplane had “approached Israeli territory in the Golan Heights in a threatening manner, and even crossed the border.”

Israel “has made it clear in the past, and is reiterating now: We will not allow anyone, neither state nor terror organization, to threaten our security and to violate our sovereignty,” Yaalon also said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Rockets and gunfire from Syria have crossed into the Israeli Golan Heights in recent months, spillover from the more than three-year civil war that has seen fierce battles recently between rebels and the Syrian army on the border between Israel and Syria.

Downing the airplane is the first such incident since Israel’s war with Lebanon in 1982, according to reports. The IDF shot down two Syrian MiG-23s that approached them in 1985 over Lebanon.

Syrian state television reportedly confirmed the hit on the plane, which fell near Quneitra on the Israel-Syrian border, the only official crossing between the two countries. The downing of the plane was “in the framework of [Israel’s] support for the terrorist Islamic State and the Nusra Front,” a rebel group linked to al-Qaida, Syrian state television reported, according to Reuters.

The crew reportedly ejected from the plane and landed in Syrian territory.

The incident occurred hours after the start of U.S.-backed airstrikes on ISIS in Syria. The U.S. was joined in the airstrikes or supported by five Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan.

Obama talks Middle East crises on Rosh Hashanah call with rabbis

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 06:07

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In his annual Rosh Hashanah call with American rabbis, President Obama focused on crises in the Middle East.

“He spoke about the complexities and dangers of the Middle East and the challenges facing the world,” said Rabbi William Gershon, one of two rabbis who posed questions to the president during the call. Gershon said there were 900 clergy who called in.

“In general, he spoke about seeking our help in domestic issues, and more importantly foreign policy issues,” said Gershon, the president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and also senior rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas.

Gershon said he could not go into further detail, as the call was off the record.

In its statement describing the call, the White House said that Obama, as he has done in the past, began by “noting the important role of the American Jewish community in advancing key domestic priorities.”

Obama, the statement said, continued with a focus on the Middle East.

“He reaffirmed our efforts, working with allies, to degrade and destroy ISIL,” the jihadist group also known as Islamic State or ISIS, “his commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and our collective responsibility to respond to the sharp increase in global anti-Semitism,” the statement said.

“He also reaffirmed his unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, his support for Iron Dome,” the anti-missile system Israel used to deflect rocket attacks during Israel’s war this summer with Hamas, “as well as his support of a sustainable peace through a two-state agreement.”

Also asking a question during the call was Rabbi Leonard Matanky, an Orthodox rabbi at Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park in Chicago.

Golden Dawn leader filmed teaching children Nazi salute

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 05:43

ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — A Greek newspaper released a video apparently showing a senior Golden Dawn leader teaching two children how to give the Nazi salute and chant “Heil Hitler.”

The video released by the Kathimerini paper on Monday apparently was shot on the cell phone of party deputy leader Christos Pappas and is part of the evidence to be brought against him in the upcoming trial against Golden Dawn leaders.

Golden Dawn has long argued that they are not neo-Nazis but only Greek nationalists and patriots.

The video shows a small boy clad all in white wearing a Nazi swastika armband and holding a swastika pennant while being encouraged by Pappas to chant “Heil Hitler” and give the Nazi salute.  In a second scene, a young girl also repeatedly chants and salutes.

Many of Golden Dawn’s leaders are awaiting trial on charges of running a criminal organization. The party, which has 18 seats in the Greek Parliament, has been accused of being behind dozens of racist attacks on immigrants. It frequently uses Nazi imagery, and its leaders have denied the existence of Nazi death camps and gas chambers.

As part of attempts to crack down on the party, Greek lawmakers recently passed a law with harsher penalties for inciting racial violence and denying the Holocaust. However, the law cannot be applied retroactively.

 

Republican senators question Kerry on Iran concessions

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 05:15

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Republican senators queried Secretary of State John Kerry on what concessions the Obama administration was willing to make with Iran at nuclear talks in New York.

In a Sept. 19 letter to Kerry, 31 senators asked Kerry for immediate answers to four questions covering the degree of dismantling of Iranian centrifuges for uranium enrichment that the P5+1 negotiating partners — the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany — will agree to when they hold talks this week with Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The same concern was expressed about the dismantling of the heavy water reactor at Arak, a plutonium reactor that has not yet gone online.

“Given that a nuclear Iran poses the greatest long-term threat to the security of the United States, Israel and other allies, we are gravely concerned about the possibility of any new agreement that, in return for further relief of U.S.-led international sanctions, would allow Iran to produce explosive nuclear material,” the senators wrote.

The senators want Iran to permanently destroy its centrifuges and end its efforts to create nuclear weapons. They are concerned that the Obama administration may allow Iran to unplug rather than destroy the centrifuges.

The senators also questioned how long any agreement would last.

British candidate suspended for trashing Israel on Twitter

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 05:10

(JTA) — A British candidate for Parliament was suspended by the Labor Party following a series of anti-Israel tweets, including asking why ISIS has not yet attacked it.

Vicki Kirby may not run in the general election in May due to the suspension, the Sunday Times reported. She was a candidate for a seat in the town of Woking, located west of Surrey.

Kirby in one of her Twitter posts called Hitler the “Zionist God,” the newspaper reported.

Also, according to the Labor Party, she wrote: “We invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher” and “I will never forget and I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!”

Another tweet said, “Apparently you can ask IS/ISIS/ISIL questions on ask.fm. Anyone thought of asking them why they’re not attacking the real oppressors #Israel?”

Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said she welcomed the suspension of Kirby.

“Her tweets were utterly vile and have no place in British politics,” Gerber told the British website Jewish News.

 

Cantor to be deposed in Bank of China case

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 05:06

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The plaintiffs in a terrorism money-laundering case against the Bank of China can subpoena former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a federal court ruled.

Cantor, who resigned from Congress in August shortly after his defeat in a Republican primary election in Virginia, will be deposed Sept. 30, as ordered by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, the New York Observer reported Monday.

Nitsana Darshan Leitner, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, told the Observer that she wanted Cantor’s testimony because in 2013, he had discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israel’s refusal to allow a former Israeli intelligence official to testify in the case.

Uzi Shaya, the former intelligence official, according to reports alerted Chinese security officials in 2005 to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel says if Shaya is forced to testify, he could reveal state secrets.

Cantor’s cousin is Daniel Wultz, an American teenager killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

The Wultzes are one of 23 families filing lawsuits accusing the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts. Darshan Leitner is representing the family of another victim, Emil Almaliakh.

Israeli teens’ suspected abductors killed in firefight with IDF

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 04:57

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The two Palestinian men suspected of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teens were killed in a firefight with Israeli troops during an operation to apprehend them.

Marwan Kawasme and Omar Abu Aysha were killed early Tuesday morning in Hebron, where Israeli troops had surrounded the house in which they were hiding, more than three months after the search for the suspects began.

Three other Palestinians suspected of involvement in the kidnapping, all of them members of the Kawasme family, also were arrested during the operation.

“We promised the families that we would find the murderers. This morning, we did just that,” the IDF’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said Tuesday morning. “This isn’t a consolation for the grieving families, but I hope that knowing we reached their children’s murderers may slightly comfort them.”

The bodies of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel, a dual Israeli-American citizen, were discovered June 30 in a shallow grave in a field near Hebron, 18 days after they went missing, following a massive search. The teens had been abducted from a juncti0n in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem.

Rachel Fraenkel, the mother of 16-year-old Naftali, told The New York Times that her other six children cheered when she told them of the deaths of the suspected kidnappers, but that she had “no emotional reaction.”

“My kids are happy that the bad guys are gone,” Fraenkel told the newspaper. “We were worried about these two dangerous people, with weapons, having nothing to lose being out there. It’s a relief to know that they won’t hurt any other innocent people.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday morning that he had spoken earlier with the parents of the three teens.

“With the advent of the New Year, nothing can assuage their pain and nothing can bring back their wonderful, dear boys,” Netanyahu said. “But I told them that justice has been done and that we had carried out the mission that we promised to them and all of Israel.”

He added: “We said from the outset that Hamas was responsible for the abduction and murder, and in light of the proof we have accumulated Hamas admitted that it was behind this terrorist attack.”

Aysha, a 32-year-old locksmith, was last seen at a family gathering only hours before the kidnapping, reportedly leaving abruptly without telling anyone where he was going. His brother, also a Hamas member, was killed in November 2005 while attempting to hurl an explosive device at Israeli soldiers during a clash in Hebron, according to the IDF. Israeli authorities also arrested Aysha’s father several times for a range of terror activities, the IDF said.

Kawasme, a 29-year-old barber, has been detained by the Palestinian Authority and Israel in the past for his activities with Hamas, and his family is known to have ties to the terror group. The money to buy the car and guns used in the abduction was procured from Hamas through his brother Mohamad. Another brother, Hussam, is in Israeli custody; he is accused of helping to bury the bodies and hide the suspects.

“We are proud of you and our people will not forget your jihad,” Hussam Bardan, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement reportedly circulating on social media.

 

 

 

Obama, Netanyahu to meet Oct. 1 in D.C.

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 17:04

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet next week at the White House.

The Oct. 1 meeting, which was announced Monday, will follow a series of meetings that Obama is having with world leaders in New York at the United Nations General Assembly.

Obama at the General Assembly is focusing on the U.S.-led effort to crush the Islamic State, or ISIS, a jihadist group grabbing swaths of land in Syria and Iraq.

Netanyahu is focused, however, on nuclear talks between the major powers and Iran. He and other top Israeli officials have said repeatedly that a nuclear Iran poses a greater threat to the Middle East than ISIS.

U.S. court rules Arab Bank liable for Hamas terror

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 16:39

NEW YORK (JTA) — Arab Bank provided material support to Hamas, a U.S. court found, and must compensate the victims of 24 attacks carried out by the terror group.

Jurors in Brooklyn District Court delivered the verdict Monday following two days of deliberations and a six-week trial, according to a statement from attorneys for the plaintiffs, in what is believed to be the first civil case on terrorism financing to come to trial in the United States.

Damages will be determined at a future trial.

Nearly 300 American citizens who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks in Israel and the West Bank sued the Jordan-based bank in 2004, accusing it of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The bank was accused of knowingly handling accounts for Hamas operatives, as well as financing millions in payments for the families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the second Palestinian intifada.

Lawyers for the bank had argued that it merely offered routine banking services, and most of the people and organizations named by the plaintiffs had not been designated by the U.S. government as terrorists at the time.

“Every bank, every company and every government in the world now has to decide whether it is willing to continue doing business with an institution proven to have knowingly supported terrorism and proven to have helped murder Americans,” Gary Osen, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.