Gaza engineer describes Hamas rocket experiments

Sections of investigation into Dirar Abu Sisi, taken into custody from Ukraine and brought to Israel, released for publication.

Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sis in court 311 (R) (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sis in court 311 (R)
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Gaza power plant engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, who according to foreign media reports was taken into custody from the Ukraine in March and brought to Israel, provided a rare in depth look at Hamas attempts to develop longer-range rockets aimed at Israeli civilians and efforts to improve its military capabilities following Operation Cast Lead.
The Beersheba Magistrate's Court released sections of the investigation by security forces of Abu Sisi for publication on Thursday.
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Abu Sisi is charged with national-security offenses, conspiracy to commit murder and being active in a terrorist organization.
According to a report by Channel 10, during questioning, Abu Sisi described Hamas as a hierarchical organization that seeks to learn from mistakes and to constantly improve its attack capabilities against Israel.
He reportedly confessed to carrying out rocket experiments, during which projectiles were fired into the Mediterranean Sea from Khan Yunis.
“The rocket fell [into the water] 22 km. away, though it was supposed to reach 30 km.,” he said during questioning.
During the time of the experiments, Hamas was lacking material required to extend the range of the rockets. The material was later acquired through smuggling tunnels linking Sinai to Gaza.
According to the report, Abu Sisi expressed regret for his work on behalf of Hamas, saying: “I’m very sorry for belonging to the Muslim Brothers and Hamas, and for my activities in extending the range of rockets and setting up Hamas military operations.”
Abu Sisi also said he regretted all the information he gave to Hamas that now threatens the security of Israeli civilians, the report said.
Abu Sisi said that following Operation Cast Lead, when Hamas gunmen abandoned their positions in the face of advancing IDF troops, Ahmed Jabari, who heads Hamas’s military wing, Izzadin Kassam, and senior Hamas member Muhammad Def concluded that the organization had failed during the conflict, and appointed Abu Sisi to help set up a military academy.
Abu Sisi said he had been ordered to head the administration of the academy.
“I prepared the management side of things for the new military academy,” he said.
Hamas carried out an evaluation of its own performance and found that its decision-making processes had failed and that weapons had not been used correctly during battles, Abu Sisi said. It also found failures at the command and management levels.
He said under interrogation that he had received veiled death threats from top Hamas officials when he expressed a desire to leave the organization.