Barak: Abu Sisi has useful information, not about Schalit

Defense Minister says that intel about Hamas justifies engineer's arrest, says "Bibitours" allegations were blown out of proportion.

March 31, 2011 11:13
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Barak speech serious 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )

Defense Minister Ehud Barak defended Israel's arrest of Dirar Abu Sisi on Thursday.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Barak said that Abu Sisi has useful information about Hamas even if it does not concern Gilad Schalit; therefore the arrest is justified.

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Abu Sisi went missing on a train traveling from Kharkov to Kiev on February 19 and later was revealed to be at the Shikma prison in Ashkelon. Foreign reports said that the engineer, who worked at Gaza's central power plant, had information relating to captive soldier Gilad Schalit.

The Petah Tikva District Court is expected to release indict Abu Sisi within five days.

Barak also discussed the "Bibitours" scandal, saying that criticism needs to be responsible, precise and egalitarian. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's travels should be compared to those of other public figures, he said, adding that the issue has gotten disproportionate attention for political reasons.

Concerning Egypt, Barak said that whoever rises to power has an interest to maintain stability and peace with Israel. At the same time, he explained that the uprising in Egypt may have weakened the ability to stop smuggling in Sinai.

The defense minister also said that Syrian President Bashar Assad is working on a thin line, and that Turkey is trying to help Assad maintain control and seek reforms.

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