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Dirar Abu Sisi. Denies connection to Shalit Photo: AP
Dirar Abu Sisi. Denies connection to Shalit Photo: AP
 
 

'Abu Sisi developed improved Qassams'

Palestinian engineer abducted in Ukraine indicted on charges of belonging to terror organization, attempted murder, weapons violations for helping Hamas develop longer-ranging rockets, missiles that can penetrate steel

Ilana Curiel
Latest Update: 04.04.11, 16:32 / Israel News

Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi was indicted Monday on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, hundreds of counts of attempted murder, and weapons violations for helping Hamas to develop longer-ranging Qassam rockets over the past nine years.

 

The Gazan resident, who was abducted in the Ukraine in February, was also accused of developing missiles that can penetrate steel, in order to help the terror organization fire into armed IDF vehicles.

who was allegedly kidnapped by Israel from the Ukraine on Monday.

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According to the indictment filed with the Beersheba District Court, Abu Sisi received a doctorate degree from a Ukrainian military engineering academy, where he worked with a Scud missile specialist. During his studies the engineer gained knowledge on the development of missiles and their control systems.

 

In addition to his job at Gaza's power plant, Abu Sisi joined Hamas and engaged in covert operations of the organization, the state is claiming.

 

Between the years 2002-2008, Abu Sisi was a Hamas commander and member of a committee in which Mohammed Def, the commander of the group's military wing, was also a member.

 

The committee was charged with developing deadly missiles and rockets that have been used by Hamas since 2002 against civilians as well as IDF vehicles, the indictment says.

 

Abu Sisi helped the group enlarge its rocket range from 6 km to 22, with a Qassam rocket developed in 2007. The engineer has vowed to further improve the range to 37-45 km, the prosecution says.

 

The indictment adds that following Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Abu Sisi was nominated to lead the establishment of a military academy charged with training Hamas commanders.

 

'No connection to Shalit'

Abu Sisi appeared haggard at the Beersheba District Court and said he has no connection to Gilad Shalit or any hostile activity. He claimed he was "harassed" after being apprehended. "This indictment is meant to cover for my false arrest as I have nothing to do with these offences," he said.

 

Abu Sisi's brother, who resides in Holland told Ynet his brother is not connected to the captive soldier.

 

 "I understand that Israel would not embark on such a complex operation unless it had very important information about my brother, but I believe it is all a lie," he said.

 

"There is a possibility that someone wanted to take revenge at my brother and provided Israel with false information about him. I am not aware of any enemies he has, but sometimes there are people who don't like you and you don't even know about it."

 

He noted he cried when he saw his brother being taken to a remand hearing, "but I know he is a strong person and I hope to see him soon."

 

The 42-year-old engineer disappeared from a train in Ukraine on February 19. Three weeks later the United Nations Refugee Agency accused Israel of commissioning the abduction with intention to bring him to the Jewish state. Israel confirmed that it was holding Abu Sisi, but the details surrounding the case remain under a gag order.

 

During one court hearing, Abu Sisi denied having any information on captive soldier Gilad Shalit. "I don’t know anything about Gilad Shalit. They asked me. I don't know anything. I'm an engineer," he said outside the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court last week.

 

Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Channel 2 that Abu Sisi "is a Hamas man and is being held in Israel.

 

"I don’t want to comment on the connection to Shalit; I can only say that he (Abu Sisi) disclosed valuable information," the PM said.

 

 

First Published: 04.04.11, 15:38

 

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