China’s astronomic rise in economic, military, and diplomatic strength poses numerous challenges to American interests on both the domestic and international fronts. China’s support of regimes and international actors hostile to American interests overseas (such as Sudanese leader Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Syrian ruler Bashar Al-Assad) has been well-documented for several years; however, evidence has recently emerged pointing to growing ties between the People’s Republic of China and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist party classified as a terror group by the U.S. State Department and European Union.
An investigation recently undertaken by the Israel Law Center Shurat haDin yielded proof that the Bank of China (BOC), China’s third largest lender by assets, bears direct responsibility for offering financial assistance to Hamas in the form of executing wire transfers of several millions of dollars since 2003. Based on this evidence, Shurat haDin filed a billion-dollar lawsuit on Tuesday, October 23 against the Bank of China for intentionally providing banking services to Hamas through their New York City branch.
"The banking giant knowingly assisted the Islamic group to carry out [a] Jerusalem attack with the full approval of the Chinese government," said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the group’s chief counsel and director.
Hamas leaders regularly withdrew amounts of around $100,000 in cash from the Bank of China, usually within one day of a deposit, over a period of years, the case alleges, and the Bank of China "was under an obligation to monitor, report, and refuse to execute such suspicious and irregular banking transactions," but did not, the complaint reads.
The lawsuit, brought to the New York State Supreme Court, is on behalf of five families who lost loved ones in a terror attack at Jerusalem’s Merkaz haRav Yeshiva, an institute of advanced Jewish learning in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, on March 6, 2008. Eight students were killed in the attack, and 11 more were wounded at the hands of 26-year-old Hamas gunman Alaa Abu Dhein.
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Photo of Hamas: AP Images