Hamas Demands Explanation From Ukraine Over Gazan's Disappearance

UN official, wife of Dirar Abu Sisi allege that Mossad abducted Sisi while he was applying for citizenship in Ukraine; Sisi was deputy director of Gaza power plant.

News Agencies
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
News Agencies

A Hamas spokesman said on Friday that Ukraine must investigate how a Palestinian man was seized from a Ukrainian train and apparently transferred to Israeli custody.

Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussein said Friday that if reports Dirar Abu Sisi is being held in Israel are correct, Ukrainian authorities must "uncover the facts."

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, Palestinian Maria, 3, holds a photo of her father Dirar Abu Sisi at the family house in Beit Lahiya, northern of Gaza StripCredit: AP

Dirar Abu Sisi, 42, went missing "under unknown circumstances" in the early hours of Feb. 19 after boarding a train in the eastern city of Kharkiv bound for the capital Kiev, according to Viktoria Kushnir, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. He was in Ukraine applying for citizenship.

Ukraine would not comment further on the incident on Friday.

Speaking with AP on Thursday, Maksim Butkevych, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine, said Abu Sisi has been in custody in Israel since shortly after his disappearance.

Abu Sisi, a Jordan native and father of six, was in Ukraine trying to apply for citizenship after spending 12 years in the Gaza Strip.

The UN agency said it believed Abu Sisi was abducted and illegally transported by Israeli security forces, perhaps with the aid of Ukrainian counterparts.

"We don't know details of his trip from Ukraine to Israel — let's put it this way," said Butkevych. "But unfortunately, what happened looks like a violent abduction and not a legal extradition or any other legal action on the part of authorities."

Abu Sisi's Ukrainian wife, Veronika, 32, alleges the Israeli secret service Mossad carried out the abduction in order to sabotage a key electric power plant in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip where he worked as a senior manager.

"I don't suspect it, I am sure of it," Abu Sisi told the AP in a telephone interview. "My husband was the heart of the only electric station in Gaza, or rather its brain. It's a strategic object and they wanted to disable it."

She denied speculation that her husband may be wanted by Israel as a known Hamas sympathizer, saying he had never engaged in politics or any violent groups.

In Gaza, fellow engineers and neighbors described Abu Sisi as a Hamas supporter, pointing to his senior position. He served as the deputy head of the electric power station and posts are traditionally staffed by Hamas loyalists.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op