A company that works on the restitution of Holocaust victims’ assets in Israel has claimed in a Jerusalem lawsuit that the Betar Zionist youth movement withheld more than NIS 10 million (£1.7m) worth of property.
The Hashava Company alleges that Betar illegally held properties in central Israel that were purchased in the 1930s by Polish Jews who eventually perished in the Holocaust.
Hashava was founded in accordance with the 2006 Holocaust Victims’ Assets law, as part of the effort to locate the property bought in Israel by European Jews before they were sent to concentration camps.
The company manages a running list of owners and assets and has, thus far, been able to hand back some 60,000 assets throughout Israel to owners or their heirs.
“The company was established by law and acts from a profound sense of mission to right a historic injustice,” said CEO Israel Peleg.
Hashava has an annual budget of NIS 100 million, which it uses to support Holocaust survivors, including by providing food and medicine.