September 17, 2011
The criminal tax division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is probing the activities of at least three of Israel’s largest banks, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot.
“If there are some violations, they’ll be dealt with as the alleged misdeeds of the Swiss banks are being dealt with,” Richard Hellman, Middle East political analyst, said in an interview with Press TV.
The US DOJ is demanding that by September 23 the three Israeli banks, along with seven Swiss banks, disclose information on operations with US clients.
Hellman added that such investigations are a way for the US to put pressure on Israel — the biggest recipient of the US aid (USD 3.1 billion last year) — before next week’s United Nation’s vote on Palestinian statehood.
It is estimated that thousands of wealthy Americans are using such accounts to hide their incomes from the Internal Revenue Service.