Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has asked that the Israeli bank Mizrahi Tefahot open his account and allow him to make a NIS 8 million (roughly $2.2 million) payment to ZAKA, a non-governmental organization (NGO) located in Jerusalem.
ZAKA, which includes a highly trained team of volunteer paramedics and rescue specialists, has been at the forefront of the struggle to collect the corpses of hundreds of Israelis, including from Gaza, following Hamas’ October 7 onslaught, which killed 1,200 Israelis.
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Roman Abramovich, who received Israeli citizenship in 2018, and ZAKA have launched a complaint against the bank, accusing it of illegally refusing Abramovich’s request to transfer the money, which were meant to help the NGO’s activities during the continuing conflict.
The bank had previously blocked the transfer, citing penalties placed by the European Union and the British government on the tycoon. The bank states that as a result of the sanctions, Abramovich’s bank account, which Forbes estimates to be worth more than $9 billion, is frozen and that no activities of any type may be carried out.
According to Abramovich’s attorneys, the Israeli government has not placed any sanctions against him in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, and neither has the US government, thus the account banning is unlawful. According to the lawsuit, Abramovich created the bank account years ago and deposited the money meant for gift to ZAKA at the time.
ZAKA was founded more than thirty years ago in response to a spate of bus bombings and suicide attacks in Israel during an intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has since developed into a worldwide humanitarian organization with over 2,800 volunteers in over 15 countries. As a consequence of its UN designation, ZAKA has been asked to aid in the aftermath of natural disasters (such as Japan, Haiti, New Orleans, and Thailand), airline catastrophes (such as the United States and Mexico), and terror attacks (such as Mumbai, Mombasa, and Istanbul).
source used: https://www.rt.com