On the evening of October 1, 2015, Eitam Henkin (a U.S. national), his wife Naama Henkin, and their four young children were driving home on Route 555 near the Palestinian city Nablus when their car was overtaken by another vehicle containing three HAMAS gunmen. The gunmen began spraying automatic gunfire at the Henkin family, bringing their vehicle to a halt.
Two of the terrorists approached the car, and as a wounded Eitam bravely fought with the terrorist who opened the driver’s side door, the other shot and killed Eitam and his wife from the passenger side. The terrorist then turned his weapon on the four children in the back seat, but it jammed. In the process of murdering Eitam and Naama, the passenger-side terrorist had shot his compatriot, and when his gun jammed, both terrorists fled, leaving the terrified children, then ages nine, seven, four and ten in the car with their dead parents.
Several days later, the Israeli Army apprehended the Hamas gunmen and other individuals who helped them plan and execute the attack. The terrorists were convicted and sentenced to two life sentences plus 30 years. Hamas leaders and its official website praised the attack. All of the terrorists involved in the attack admitted they were members of Hamas and that the attack was planned and authorized by their Hamas commanders.
We have filed two lawsuits on behalf of the Henkin family:
HENKIN v KUVEYT TÜRK KATILIM BANKASI A.Ş. 1:19-cv-05394, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
HENKIN v THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OG IRAN, ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS, IRANIAN MINISTRY OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, BANK MARKAZI JOMHOURI ISLAMIC IRAN, BANK MELLI IRAN, BANK SADERAT IRAN AND THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC, 1:19-cv-01184, United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi Case:
Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi AS (“Kuveyt”) is a Turkish Islamic bank owned by Kuwait Finance House (62.24%), Turkish General Directorate of Foundations (18%), Kuwaiti Public Institution for Social Security (8%), Islamic Development Bank ((9%) and others (1.04%).
Kuwait Finance House, listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, was the first Kuwaiti bank operating in accordance with Islamic Shari’a, with total assets (as of May 2016) of $55.52 billion.
The Directorate General of Foundations is a Turkish governmental institution, founded in 1920, that manages and audits religious foundations. The Directorate has a dark history and was used by the state to confiscate properties belonging to non-Muslim religious minorities (Jews, Greek Orthodox Christians and Christian Armenians) by transferring properties into foundations that could be placed under the administration of the Directorate. The Directorate manages approximately 18,500 historical buildings and 67,000 estates, as well has holding a 58.5% stake in the fifth largest bank in Turkey, Vakifbank.
We allege in the complaint that in recent years, Turkey has become a political and economic center for Hamas, permitting the US designated Foreign Terrorist Organization access to Kuveyt and other Turkish banks to transfer and launder funds. The complaint alleges that Kuveyt allowed Hamas to transfer money to entities and individuals identified with the Hamas organization. This case adds to mounting evidence that the Turkish banking system, with the support of members of the Turkish government, provides financial services to Hamas-supportive entities like IHH, TIKA, SADAT and the Islamic University in Gaza.
The Case Against Iran, IRGC and Syria:
Since 1984, Iran has been designated the by United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. Iran has long provided Hamas with material support, training, weapons, money, and resources for acts of extrajudicial killings and hostage taking which has enabled Hamas to be the kind of terror organization capable of recruiting, training, arming and paying terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks, like the attack against the Henkins.
Syria is also designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, and has a long history of hosting Hamas headquarters, providing it safe harbor, financing, weapons, training and intelligence. While that support may have declined during the Syrian civil war, Syria continues to support Hamas and its deep and long-standing support enabled Hamas to be the cohesive, organized and deadly terrorist organization it is today.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), or Pasdaran, is a branch of Iranian Armed Forces created in 1979 by order of the Ayatollah Khomeini in order to protect the Islamic political system from eventual foreign and/or internal interferences. The IRGC also carries out extraterritorial operations through a specific subdivision known as Quds Forces, which supports several non-state actors, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Both the IRGC and the Quds force are designated by the US, the first one as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and the latter as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Bank Melli and Bank Saderat are Iranian banks wholly owned and/or controlled by Iran and the IRGC. Both banks have numerous subsidiaries and branches abroad and both have been restricted from access to the U.S. financial system. The Treasury Department designated Saderat under E.O. 13224 as a terrorist financier, noting its provision of financial services to Hizballah and Hamas.