wife of abu sisi_311.
(photo credit: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)
The State Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that it would file an
indictment against Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi on Monday. With the
filing of the indictment, the public will learn for the first time about the
crimes that Abu Sisi allegedly committed – and about a possible link to abducted
soldier Gilad Schalit.
Abu Sisi, who has been in custody in Israel for 40
days, after disappearing from a train in the Ukraine, appeared in court
yesterday for his remand hearing. He subsequently spoke to reporters.
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know nothing about Gilad Schalit. They asked me about him, but I have nothing to
do with him,” Abu Sisi said at the entrance to the Petah Tikva District
Courthouse. “It’s all lies. I am a simple man, an engineer. I am
Despite his claim of innocence, he was remanded for five extra
days following a closed doors hearing.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said
that Abu Sisi had “intimate information” about the inner workings of Hamas in
the Gaza Strip, including details regarding abducted soldier Gilad
Barak was responding to a report in Der Spiegel,
that the Gaza-based engineer was abducted by Israel due to information he had
“I cannot confirm the report – and we are not dealing with
a direct connection as if he arranged the abduction or guarded him – but he is a
person with intimate information about what happens within Hamas, and this has
value not just with regard to Gilad Schalit but also on other issues as well,”
Barak said in an interview with Israel Radio.
Barak also defended the
decision to capture Abu Sisi in Ukraine, and bring him to Israel.
presence here is legitimate,” Barak said. “It is not as if someone wakes up in
the middle of the night and decides that he doesn’t like the fact that
Palestinians are traveling around the world.”
In an interview to Channel
2 news and YouTube on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Abu
Sisi was being held in Israeli jail legally.
“I don’t want to relate to
this in the context of Gilad Schalit, or any other context,” the prime minister
said. “I can only say that he has provided valuable information.”
possible that Netanyahu and Barak are laying the groundwork for the full
disclosure of the suspicions against Abu Sisi in the coming days – likely around
the time an indictment is filed. So far the State Attorney’s Office has only
said that the charges are “serious.”
In an interview to Army Radio, Abu
Sisi’s wife, Veronica, advocated on behalf of her husband.
has no links to political movements – not even to Hamas,” she said. “After 12
years in Gaza, we decided to move to Ukraine for financial and security
Abu Sisi also rejected the possibility that her husband had
disclosed “valuable information.”
She said the same thing to Noam
Schalit, the kidnapped soldier’s father in a phone conversation.
said that he didn’t know whether or not Dirar Abu Sisi was connected to Gilad
Schalit, but that the only way to prevent a long prison sentence for him was to
accept the German-sponsored deal to exchange Schalit for Hamas
A Hamas spokesman said in a statement that Abu Sisi had no
links to Hamas, and that Netanyahu’s statement was “an attempt to cover up
Israel’s crime of kidnapping him from Ukraine.”