The family of Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi refused to believe the charges filed against him Monday, which include hundreds of counts of attempted murder for helping Hamas attain long-ranging rockets and anti-tank missiles.
Yusef Abu Sisi, Dirar's brother, told Ynet the indictment was fraught with lies. "I am certain he was placed under pressure and threats. When you are in such a difficult situation and pressure is applied you will admit to anything," he said.
Speaking over the phone from his home in Holland, Abu Sisi's brother said Israel was engaging in propaganda at his brother's expense. "If these allegations were true, Israel would have to abduct every Palestinian in the world with an engineering degree," he said. "The fact that he has the knowledge doesn't mean he would use it to develop missiles."
The indictment filed against the Gazan power plant engineer describes the reason he was abducted in the Ukraine, accusing him of helping Hamas increase the range of its rockets from 6 km to 22 and developing missiles capable of penetrating steel.
Abu Sisi is also being charged with establishing an academy to train Hamas commanders.
Yusef, who hasn't seen his brother in 15 years, has stayed in touch with him by phone and internet. He believes someone framed him in an act of revenge, though he couldn't name anyone specific.
"I heard him speak in court and he denied the charges over and over," he said. "There is no chance it's true. He was detained, they wouldn't let him speak to anyone and I'm sure he was under pressure and threatened."
Yusef also recounted his brother's history, saying the Jordanian-born Palestinian traveled to the Ukraine in 1998 to attend college. After he finished school, Yusef says, Abu Sisi returned to Jordan and from there moved to Gaza in 2001, where he began working for the power plant.
"He was promoted at work and he like the job a lot. In the end he became one of the leading managers of the plant," Yusef said.
But Abu Sisi has never been in contact with any terror group, his brother stressed. "He was never a member of any group like the Muslim Brotherhood and certainly not Hamas. Politics just didn't interest him. He is a normal and quiet man," Yusef said.
"After Hamas rose to power in Gaza in 2006 Dirar was not pleased, but he wasn't sad either because he was removed from politics."
Though Abu Sisi was not a religious man, his brother added, he attended prayer services every Friday. "We all go to the mosque every Friday," he explained. "The fact that my brother worshiped at a mosque doesn't mean he was a religious man."
Hamas responded to Abu Sisi's indictment Monday as well, stating that the abduction from Ukraine was a dangerous crime and that torturing a prisoner constitutes organized crime executed by the state.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that "the enemy is interested in these charges in order to justify its crimes and cover them up". He added that Abu Sisi is not involved with Hamas and called on human rights groups to help reunite him with his family.