Bank Wins Supreme Court Battle to Keep European Sanctions in Place: What it Means for Nonprofits and Legal Compliance

The Supreme Court deemed the bank’s decision to withhold Roman Abramovich’s donation to ZAKA as reasonable.

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank, reversing the decision made by the district court regarding a claim by businessman Roman Abramovich and the ZAKA organization. This decision arose after the bank refused to transfer 8 million shekels intended for ZAKA following a visit to Gaza where Abramovich witnessed their work with Hamas attack victims.

Initially, the district court sided with Abramovich and ZAKA, ordering the bank to proceed with the transfer despite sanctions against Abramovich in Europe. The judge criticized the bank for its refusal to process the transaction, stating that it was unjustifiable given that it occurred under difficult circumstances.

However, the Supreme Court disagreed with this ruling. It found that Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank acted within its rights in refusing to transfer funds due to European sanctions against Abramovich. Furthermore, the court concluded that there was no evidence indicating that ZAKA would cease to exist without receiving this donation.

In conclusion, this Supreme Court ruling highlights the importance of legal compliance in financial transactions while also upholding Mizrahi-Tfahot Bank’s decision to block transfers subject to European sanctions on individuals like Roman Abramovich.

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