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Survivors sue major Israeli bank

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — A lawsuit on behalf of Holocaust survivors was filed against one of Israel’s largest banks.

The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets on Thursday sued Bank Leumi, claiming that the bank is holding more than 3,500 bank accounts that belong to the families of Holocaust victims.

Jews in Europe opened accounts before the Holocaust in the forerunner to Leumi, the Anglo-Palestine Bank.

The more than $75 million lawsuit claims that Bank Leumi has not cooperated with official organizations requesting information about deposits that belonged to European Jews. It also claims the bank has refused to offer any information about unclaimed funds or accounts.

Israel’s Knesset  established the Company for the Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets three years ago to uncover and return the assets of Holocaust victims to their heirs. Property and assets that are not claimed are earmarked to help needy Holocaust survivors.

About 250,000 survivors live in Israel.

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