Palestinian engineer Abu Sisi extradited to Israel, not abducted: Ukrainian official
Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi has been extradited to Israel following an official request, rather than being abducted by secret services, Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonot reported on Thursday.
"Our investigation suggests that Ukraine is directly connected to Abu Sisi's disappearance," Ukrainian parliament member Ghanadi Muskal was quoted by Yedioth as saying, Xinhua reported.
"The Israel police approached a representative of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry in Israel and requested assistance in apprehending and extraditing a Palestinian who was seeking Ukrainian citizenship," Muskal said.
Abu Sisi, the 42-year-old deputy director of the Gaza Strip's sole electric power plant, was reported missing under unknown circumstances on Feb. 19 while boarding a train to Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Meanwhile, Muskal denied repeated claims made in recent weeks by Abu Sisi's relatives and some Ukrainian officials that the Gaza- born engineer, currently held in custody in Israel, was abducted by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency with the cooperation of Ukraine's secret services.
According to Muskal, "Ukrainian police arrested Abu Sisi aboard the train and he was taken to Kiev Airport. He was then handed over to representatives of the Israel police, who escorted him on the flight to Israel."
The parliamentarian said that if Abu Sisi had managed to obtain citizenship prior to his arrest, "he would never have been extradited."
Israel police spokesman was not available for comment on the claim.
On Monday, an Israeli court indicted Abu Sisi on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit murder, production of weaponry and hundreds of counts of attempted murder.
According to a statement released Monday by the Israeli Justice Ministry, Abu Sisi is a senior member of the Islamist group Hamas and was allegedly engaged in arms development, which included rockets to be launched against Israel from the coastal enclave. He is also accused of administering a Hamas military academy.
Abu Sisi's wife, Veronika, continues to allege that her husband 's senior position at the Gaza power plant is behind the affair, saying the plant is a "strategic object" that Israel wanted to sabotage.