Palestinian Accuses Israel of Arranging Arrest in Abu Dhabi

West Bank resident, who until recently lived in Abu Dhabi, questioned by two different Arab security services; says Israel wants him extradited.

Was Israel behind the overseas arrest of a Palestinian engineer suspected of ties with Hamas? The arrested man thinks it was - but Hamas blames the Palestinian Authority.

Jafar Daghlas, 27, a resident of the West Bank town of Burka who until recently lived in Abu Dhabi, has been questioned by two different Arab security services recently - those of the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. He suspects Israel was trying to get him extradited here, as it did with another Palestinian engineer with alleged Hamas ties, Dirar Abu Sisi, after the latter's arrest in Ukraine last February.

Abu Sisi - AP - 31012012

But Hamas accused the PA of being behind Daghlas' arrest, saying he has been wanted by the PA since 2008 on account of his political activity in Hamas.

Daghlas is known to both Israel and the Fatah-led PA as a Hamas activist, and in 2006 he was shot in the stomach during clashes in Nablus between Fatah and Hamas supporters.

According to PA security officials, Daghlas was involved in funneling both money and arms to Gaza Strip from overseas.

On December 29, the Friends Of Humanity organization announced that Daghlas had been arrested in Abu Dhabi by the United Arab Emirates' intelligence service and interrogated for 18 days, during which time he wasn't allowed to meet with a lawyer or his relatives, or even be informed why he had been arrested. This was just the latest time he had been arrested by the UAE security service over the previous four months; Emirati intelligence agents also raided his home and seized his personal computer.

"He was held for 24 days in the Emirates, and we have no idea why," his father told Haaretz. "He calls us from time to time. We don't know whether Israel or the Palestinian Authority is the one that pressed the Emirates to arrest him."

After it had finished interrogating him, the UAE deported Daghlas to Jordan, as he holds Jordanian citizenship. There, he was arrested immediately upon landing at the airport and imprisoned in Amman, where he was interrogated by Jordanian intelligence.

Daghlas sought help from a Jordanian engineering association to which he belongs. The association wrote to Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Shawkat al-Khasawneh demanding that Daghlas not be extradited to Israel, noting that he feared Jordan was planning to do precisely that.

His parents said that Daghlas is still in Amman but no longer in jail. "He was summoned for interrogation by the Mukhabarat [Jordanian intelligence]; they asked him five questions and released him," his mother told Haaretz.

One reason Daghlas suspects Israel of being behind his arrest, she added, is that a few months ago, it barred his wife from traveling from the West Bank to Jordan to meet him.

His story is also very similar to that of Abu Sisi, who was deputy director of the Gaza power plant. Abu Sisi was arrested by Ukrainian intelligence while visiting that country and transferred to Israel, though his arrest because public knowledge only after his wife declared him missing and asked the United Nations for help in finding him. Under interrogation in Israel, Abu Sisi admitted his involvement in developing rockets and antitank missiles for Hamas.

Daghlas studied chemical engineering at An-Najah University in Nablus, then moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008 to do his master's degree. After that, he worked for Abu Dhabi's national oil company.

The Shin Bet security service declined to comment.