Roman Abramovich, a businessman with significant assets in Israel, personally witnessed the work of ZAKA volunteers on the Gaza Strip following Black Saturday on October 7. This experience led him to donate 8 million shekels to the organization. However, his bank, Mizrachi Tefahot, blocked the transfer citing European Union and Great Britain sanctions against his assets. In response, Abramovich and ZAKA filed a lawsuit against the bank for refusing to transfer their client’s money at their request.
On January 4th, the first hearing in this case took place in the Tel Aviv District Court. Judge Yardena Sarusi expressed her leaning towards approving the transfer, describing the bank’s refusal as unacceptable and irrelevant to the nature of the requested transaction. The court also deemed arguments about European sanctions against Abramovich inapplicable as the transfer was taking place within Israel. The Supreme Court has issued a temporary order suspending its decision to transfer Abramovich’s funds to ZAKA until an appeal is completed by Mizrachi Tefahot Bank.