By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz Correspondent

Bank Leumi’s refusal to return money that belonged to Jews murdered in the Holocaust seriously harms efforts to retrieve Jewish property from European banks, leaders of restitution organizations said Thursday at a demonstration in Tel Aviv. Bank Leumi denies these claims.

About 100 Holocaust survivors demonstrated outside the bank’s head office, demanding that it return NIS 300 million they say belongs to Jews murdered during the Holocaust. The bank’s management – which held an annual meeting in the building – did not send a representative to speak to the elderly men and women.

Mordechai Hareli, chairman of the organization representing Jewish forced laborers, said: “We’re fighting against a Jewish institution which surpasses European banks in its level of hearltessness.” Avraham Roet, founder of the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets, added: “The refusal to meet us is almost as infuriating as the appropriation of funds.”