The Southern District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed an indictment with the
Beersheba Magistrate’s Court against two sisters of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail
Haniyeh for illegally crossing into Gaza to visit him.
The two – Tzav’ah
Bat Abud Elsalem Haniyeh and Leila Bat Abud Elsalem Abu Rakik – had previously
requested permission to cross into Gaza for the visit and Israel had denied
The sisters became Israeli citizens after marrying
According to the prosecution, the two women entered Gaza via
Egypt to circumvent the ban on their traveling to the Strip.
in another drama impacting the Israel- Gaza-Egypt borders, both the Justice
Ministry and the courts spokesman refused to provide any details on developments
or any scheduled hearings in the highly publicized indictment of Gazan Waail Abu
Rida, accused of 36 counts of terrorism, and according to foreign media reports,
kidnapped in Egypt by some arm of the defense establishment and brought to
Israel for trial around a month ago.
Abu Rida is accused of serving, at
different stages between 2003 and 2011, as a senior terrorist agent for Hamas,
Islamic Jihad and an armed wing of Fatah.
The indictment alleges that he
participated in and organized numerous attacks against IDF tanks and troops, and
planned operations to kidnap soldiers.
At one point, Abu Rida trained
around 40 terrorists in assembling explosives and sharp-shooting, said the
During Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009, Abu
Rida allegedly commanded four Islamic Jihad units in combat and set booby traps
against IDF soldiers.
At the time of his arrest, he had in his possession
four bombs ranging between 15 and 25 kilograms in size and stored in a
Though Abu Rida was indicted on Friday, he was originally due to be
indicted on Tuesday.
A surprise decision by the prosecution to expedite
the indictment seemed designed to procedurally quash a motion filed by Yediot
Aharonot to expose details of his capture, since he was being held and a gag
order on those details was in place without Abu Rida having been
Following the indictment, the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court
reportedly denied the motion to expose the details on the grounds that an
indictment was filed before it had to decide what the law would have been absent
The courts spokesman refused to give further details
regarding the case besides the indictment, citing the gag order and special
national security issues applying to the case.
A major human rights group
that was contacted regarding the gag order, the possible kidnapping from Egypt
and the national security issues, said it was not getting involved in the case.