• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

In the aftermath of Black Saturday: Roman Abramovich, ZAKA and the controversial transfer of funds blocked by Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank

BySamantha Jones

Apr 2, 2024
The Supreme Court Deemed the Bank’s Decision to Deny Transfer of Roman Abramovich’s Donation to ZAKA as Justified

The Supreme Court has reversed the decision of the district court regarding a claim made by businessman Roman Abramovich and the ZAKA organization against Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank. In the aftermath of Black Saturday, Abramovich visited the area near the Gaza Strip and witnessed the work of ZAKA volunteers with the bodies of those killed by Hamas. He was touched by their efforts and decided to donate 8 million shekels to the organization. However, the bank blocked the transfer citing European Union and British sanctions on Abramovich’s assets.

The case involves a lawsuit filed by Abramovich and ZAKA against Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank for refusing to transfer funds. The district court initially ruled in favor of plaintiffs, ordering the bank to carry out transaction but this ruling was overturned by Supreme Court who found that bank’s actions were justified. The plaintiffs were unable to prove any violation of rules or that funds transfer fell under an exception to sanctions. Additionally, they failed to demonstrate that without receiving donation, ZAKA would cease to exist.

The case highlights complexities surrounding international sanctions and their impact on charitable organizations, as well as raises questions about banks role in enforcing them and their responsibilities towards clients. Ultimately, Supreme Court’s ruling emphasizes importance of adhering to international regulations even when it comes to humanitarian aid.

By Samantha Jones

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