Detained Palestinian Engineer: I Know Nothing About Gilad Shalit

Dirar Abu Sisi, who was reportedly abducted by Israel in Ukraine and held for close to 40 days in Israeli custody, will most probably be indicted next week.

Yossi Melman head
Yossi Melman
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Yossi Melman

Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, who has been held in Israeli custody for close to 40 days, said Thursday that he had no connection to the abduction of Gilad Shalit, saying that he was only an engineer.

"I don't know anything about Gilad Shalit. Ask me – I don't know anything. I'm an engineer," Abu Sisi said at the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court before a court hearing regarding an extension of his remand.

The Shin Bet security service and the State Prosecutor's Office intend to file an indictment next week against Abu Sisi, who according to foreign reports, was abducted by Israeli security forces in the Ukraine and was accused by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being a member of Hamas.

Notification of the indictment was relayed Wednesday to Abu Sisi's attorney, Smadar Ben-Natan.

According to the notification, a "prosecutor's statement" will be submitted today to the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court, indicating an intention to indict a suspected criminal.

Despite details of the case being under gag order, Netanyahu said Wednesday that Abu Sisi, who disappeared from Ukraine and resurfaced in an Israeli jail last month, is a member of Hamas.

"He is a Hamas member, held legally in Israeli detention. He gave important information," the prime minister said, without elaborating, during an interview aired on YouTube.

Relatives of Abu Sisi, 42, deny that he is a militant. They also deny claims that he has information about abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Netanyahu's statements about Abu Sisi appear to violate the gag order on this case.

The court is set to discuss Thursday the Shin Bet's request to extend Abu Sisi's remand until Monday, when the indictment will apparently be formally submitted. Abu Sisi has been held in custody for nearly 40 days. His family members claim he was seized in the Ukraine and taken to Israel by plane.

The former Gazan engineer, who is being held in Shikma prison in Ashkelon, met Wednesday with Ben-Natan, and denied reports published this week by the German weekly Der Spiegel suggesting he has information about Shalit.

Basing its claim on a variety of sources, Der Spiegel implied that the main motivation behind Abu Sisi's arrest is the possibility that he is in possession of information about Shalit's whereabouts. Abu Sisi, however, says he has been interrogated about other issues, not about Shalit.

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