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HOLOCAUST BANK ACCOUNTS IN ISRAEL

MK Avital & MK Rivlin in Inquiry Committee

Special Knesset Report: 'There Are 9,000 Accounts Of Holocaust Victims In Israeli Banks Worth Current Value Of $225 Million' 'Money Should Be Paid To Heirs Of Holocaust Victims'

MK Avital: 'Jews Abroad May Check The Knesset Website On the Internet For Details'

During and before the British Mandate, bank accounts were opened in Palestine banks by Jews who were later murdered in the Holocaust. A special Knesset enquiry has now determined that money from these dormant accounts remained with the banks or was transferred to the Israeli Custodian after the establishment of the State in 1948. Some 9,000 accounts were involved and their current value is estimated at some one billion Israeli shekels, over $225 million. A special report recommended that the money be paid to the heirs of the account holders. Labor Knesset Member Colette Avital chaired the committee, which oversaw the inquiry, and she is expected to draft another report on property in Israel that belonged to Holocaust victims. Most of the dormant accounts were held in Bank Le'umi. Why has it taken so long? The report found: 'After the foundation of the State, the banks did not act vigorously to return the funds to their owners, and even when Holocaust survivors, and/or heirs of the victims approached them, the banks did not act with determination to locate the accounts.'

David Essing

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