Haniyeh's Israeli sisters charged with visiting Gaza without permit

State keeps details of reported arrest of senior Gaza terrorist in Egypt under wraps.

July 23, 2013 16:31
2 minute read.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures during an interview with Reuters in Gaza City May 10, 2012.

Ismail Haniyeh on a chair, looking expressive 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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 their request.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The sisters became Israeli citizens after marrying Israelis.

According to the prosecution, the two women entered Gaza via Egypt to circumvent the ban on their traveling to the Strip.

Meanwhile, 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 indictment.

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 shed.

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 indicted.

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 an indictment.

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.

Related Content

People walk in front of banners with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during preparations for
July 17, 2018
Egypt targets social media, journalists with new law