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Daily Israel Report

Gag Order Lifted on Arab Engineer Abducted in Ukraine

Gaza engineer Dirar Abu Seesi is in Israeli hands. The suspicions against him are still secret.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/20/2011, 8:45 PM / Last Update: 3/20/2011, 8:55 PM

File photo

 

A Gazan engineer, Dirar Abu Seesi, is being held by Israel. Foreign press outlets had reported ten days ago that he was missing and speculated that he was being held by the Jewish state, but Israeli news sources were forbidden from providing any further details until today. 
 
Last week, Israel's state prosecution informed the Petach Tikva Magistrates' Court that Abu Seesi was indeed in Israeli hands, and the court partially lifted the gag order on the affair Sunday, making this report possible. The matter reached the court after a "human rights" group funded by the New Israel Fund filed a motion requiring that the gag order be lifted.
 
According to a March 10 report in the Huffington Post, the engineer "vanished from a Ukrainian train in the middle of the night" three weeks earlier.
 
Abu Seesi, 42, went missing in the early hours of Feb. 19 "after boarding a train in the eastern city of Kharkiv bound for the capital Kiev, according to Viktoria Kushnir, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. He was in Ukraine applying for citizenship."
 
Abu Seesi's wife, a Ukrainian citizen, has hired a lawyer to represent her husband. 
 
Foreign news reports said Abu Seesi had been a senior engineer in Gaza's electric company and power station. Some reports also quoted Gaza sources that said he was considered loyal to Hamas. Others denied he had been politically active. 
 
The reports said Abu Seesi had been abducted by Israeli agents, but Haggai Huberman of the Arutz Sheva Hebrew news service assessed Sunday that Ukrainian authorities probably cooperated in his arrest and transfer to Israel. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mikhail Azerov, who visited Israel last week, avoided questions on the affair and said only that his government was looking into it.