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Israeli Justice Endorses Continued Abuse of Dirar Abusisi


Dirar Abusisi, after losing one-third of his body weight during two years of Israeli detention

Israeli Mossad agents collaborating with Ukrainian authorities kidnapped Gaza civil engineer Dirar Abusisi on a Ukrainian train nearly two years ago.  He was spirited to a Kiev apartment and by some accounts drugged and shipped in a coffin to Israel.  There he was imprisoned under sham charges that he was Hamas’ chief “rocket engineer.”  He has languished in solitary confinement without trial during that period.

Over the past months, his Israeli attorney, Tal Linoy has appealed to the Supreme Court demanding the right to see all evidence the State has against his client.  He has also appealed his isolation from other Palestinian detainees, which is a punitive response to his refusal to agree to a State offer plea bargain which would force him to admit guilt and confine him to prison for a ten-year sentence.

The Israeli regional court last month, approved a six month extension of his prison isolation (the third such extension granted) on the grounds that the State’s evidence, which the defense was denied access to, marked the prisoner as someone who poses a danger to the State.  It argued that releasing him into the general prison population would endanger state security, an argument patently fraudulent on its face. Will he use his special engineering skills to build hand-made missiles that will be smuggled from prison on Hamas’ behalf?  Or perhaps he’ll build an explosive device that will destroy the prison and allow a mass prison break?

There are those who seek to argue that the Israeli judiciary exists to maintain the rule of law and correct injustices done.  Clearly, this claim is unfounded.  Israeli justice exists to ratify the worst excesses of the national security state.  Keep in mind that what evidence the State has offered has been thoroughly discredited by this blog, a BBC documentary, and an investigative report published in a Kiev newspaper.

All this comes in the midst of an agreement Israel signed with its Palestinian political prisoners which granted them family visits and prohibited the State from placing them in solitary confinement.  This agreement applied to everyone…including Abusisi.  Yet now the State chooses to ignore this fact and pretend the agreement doesn’t exist.  So far, the Israeli justice system refuses to intervene and uphold the agreement.

tal linoy

Tal Linoy, Abusisi’s defense attorney

The detainee suffers from painful kidney stones, dangerously high blood pressure, anemia, and other serious ailments.  A year before his detention he suffered a serious heart attack.  The Israeli prison service has refused to allow him to be treated by medical specialists and confined him to taking aspirin.  Even the service’s psychiatrist has conceded he is suffering from severe depression, a fact which the Shin Bet denied before the judge.  A specialist appointed by the defense, after examining the prisoner, found that his medical treatment fell below standards demanded by Israeli law.

In any real democracy where there was rule of law, Abusisi could appeal his treatment and demand release.  In Israel, even with its vaunted Supreme Court which supposedly upholds society’s democratic values, Abusisi receives little consideration.

Gaza media note that the Hamas minister for prisoners has appealed to Egypt to adopt Abusisi’s plight and gain his release.  Tal Linoy tells me that this appeal is a cynical ploy on the part of Hamas, which has essentially abandoned Abusisi to his fate.  The reasons for this are complicated, but were alluded to in Gabriel Gatehouse’s BBC documentary in which a Hamas representative essentially offered Abusisi a cold kiss-off.  Hamas’ refusal to support him is evidence alone of the falsity of the Israeli government claims that Abusisi played any role on behalf of the Islamist group.  Can you imagine why, for example, in the agreement to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Gilad Shalit, Hamas refused to include Abusisi among those it sought to release?

I speculate that Abusisi had been approached while still in Gaza to join Hamas and collaborate with it (he was deputy director of the local power plant at the time).  When he refused, he fled Gaza to the Ukraine.  To get revenge, Hamas conveyed false information to the Mossad that Abusisi knew the location of Gilad Shalit, who at the time remained imprisoned in Gaza.  Thinking they had a sure-fire way to locate Shalit and gain his freedom, they arranged for his kidnapping in Ukraine and forced return to Israel.

When they discovered that they’d been “had” by Hamas, the Shin Bet could not quietly let the matter drop.  Saving face is a critical factor not just in “primitive” Arab culture (as Israelis are wont to claim), but in Israel’s national security state as well.  The secret police do not generally admit mistakes unless compelled to do so.  In this case, the only ones who know the truth aren’t in a position to threaten the prerogatives of those who made this blunder.  So Abusisi languishes for years in an Israeli dungeon, abandoned by Israeli justice and by the rulers of his native Gaza who he “betrayed” by refusing to serve them.

Dirar Abusisi is a hero, a proud man who refuses to serve two masters, ones in Gaza and now those in Israel.  He will not bend.  This is the greatest crime he has committed.  He has offended the security services, denied their supremacy, and defied them.  In the national security state this is a supreme offense.  He may suffer permanent damage to his health.  He may not see his six children and wife Veronica for many years.  But for him honor and dignity are supreme values.  He puts his Israeli torturers and tormentors to shame.  He puts the Israeli justice system to shame.  He puts all those who betrayed him to shame.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Joel November 3, 2012, 10:04 PM

    “Will he use his special engineering skills to build special missiles that will be smuggled from prison on Hamas’ behalf?

    No. But he could teach his fellow inmates the basics of rocket science and applied physics.

    • Richard Silverstein November 4, 2012, 12:40 AM

      You mean those skills the secret police claimed he’d learned from alleged military engineering schools in the Ukraine which didn’t exist and from professors who never taught him?

    • Anyn. November 4, 2012, 3:05 AM

      You may not have noticed this, but the Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza are well versed in constructing rockets. If Abusisi had special knowledge and worked for Hamas as Israel claims, then he would have shared it long ago.

      The situation seems to me very similar to John Cross (formerly known as Vanunu) who is supposed to hold state secrets 20 years after he told the world everything he knew.

      • mary November 4, 2012, 4:45 AM

        Oh yes, those rockets like the ones kids build in high school science class.

        What ridiculous reasoning, what convoluted thought process, would lead anyone to conclude that this man is such a genius at rocket building that it would in any way endanger Israel? Especially knowing this man’s background, which shows he has no affiliation with any resistance groups. And please, untie enough knots in this process to explain to me how keeping this man under solitary confinement and denying him health care is a proper and humane way to treat any human being in administrative detention?

    • Davey November 4, 2012, 10:53 AM

      Right you are. And a literate person could teach an illiterate to read and write. Having done so, the new literati will be able to complain or post slogans or write books or talk more fluently with others. These are all dangers to the “security” of Israel, are they not? Mossad should now kidnap all literate Palestinians and literate sympathetic parties worldwide. It is a matter of security. “Administrative detention” for readers and writers, I say!

      We are there now in Israel, this poisonous supremacist society permanently at odds with time and history.

  • mary November 3, 2012, 11:46 PM

    Thank you for writing this, Richard. I will share it widely. It should be widely known that Israel is trying to kill an innocent man through torture.

  • Davey November 4, 2012, 12:33 AM

    My G*d, the Israelis are the real terrorists — kidnapping people anywhere in the world ,holding without charges, secret “evidence,” security hoodlums, the Hoodlum Court, to which obedience is voluntary apparently. Any system that started out this way for “just” or emergency reasons, was certain to be corrupted in no time at all.

    They wanted a country, even if it was home to others, and now they have it and what a mess they have made of it. It is unbelievable. They should just pack up and move somewhere they can’t do so much harm to others, maybe the US or the Ukraine. Israel is beyond redemption, IMHO. On top of the failures of the state, as if that weren’t enough, they have given Judaism a bad rep. Do they know they are stirring up bottomless rage among civilized people?

  • Nimrod November 4, 2012, 1:53 AM

    Kidnapping people from all over the world?
    holding without charges?
    secret “evidence”?
    security hoodlums, the Hoodlum Court, to which obedience is voluntary apparently?

    How have been things in Guantanamo Bay lately?

    • Richard Silverstein November 5, 2012, 1:00 AM

      My oh my: you’re actually telling me my own country does very bad things. Something I certainly wouldn’t know if you didn’t tell me. But let me tell you something: half of what the U.S. is doing regarding counter-terror & violations of basic civil liberties & international law it learned from the Israelis. When it comes to thumbing your nose at the rule of law you’re the tops. Hats off to you.

      • mary November 5, 2012, 3:27 AM

        Interesting how much Obama has learned from the Mossad about killing people without due process and on foreign soil, isn’t it?

      • Nimrod November 5, 2012, 3:38 AM

        For some strange reasons, “peacenicks” like yourself are always so loud when it comes to Israel’s violation of human rights, but remain so silent when it comes to violation of human rights in their own country, and don’t bother mentioning violations of human rights in Enemy states of Israel at all.

        • Richard Silverstein November 5, 2012, 12:33 PM

          Don’t be such an idiot. You’ve done no research whatsoever to know what I’ve wriiten about my own country. In fact, I’ve regularly excoriated my own country’s polices going all the way back to 2003 when I first started this blog. If you want to criticize my views, do so. But don’t show yourself to be an ignorant oaf in doing so. Do your homework & make sure your criticisms are accurate so you can be taken seriously.

          • Nimrod November 5, 2012, 11:16 PM

            Richard, I respect you for what you have written about your own country.
            This is why I would also expect some kind of disclosure when bringing up this topic of ill-treatment of detainees in Israel.
            whether or Israeli went all that trouble to capture Mr. Abusisi just for randomly abusing a Palestinian living in Europe, or he indeed has something to do with the Palestinian rockets developing industry is irrelevant.

            I do not criticize your views. I respect them, as I expect you to respect mine.
            What I do criticize, is the lack of criticism in your articles to any other country besides Israel – and this is REALLY sticking out when it comes to the treatment of prisoners and human-rights abuse.

            Please let me know if that is not okay, and I’ll stick with correcting Hebrew translations and weaponry identification.

          • Richard Silverstein November 6, 2012, 1:43 PM

            I have written an enormous amount attacking Barack Obama for killing Muslims indiscriminately and oppose Guantanamo and the wholesale violations of civil rights all that entails. I didn’t even vote for Obama for these reasons. As a lifelong Democrat, that was a hard thing to do. I’m very hard on my own country’s policies in this regard, not just Israel’s.

            But ultimately, there are thousands of bloggers and journalists writing about U.S. policy. So I don’t bring much that is new or distinctive to that subject. I have to stick to the subject where I do offer a new or different perspective, and that is Israel. That’s why I refuse criticism which demands that I criticize human rights violations around the world before I address Israel’s. Others will address those issues. My subject is Israel and the countries which intersect with it.

        • Davey November 5, 2012, 6:33 PM

          What’s your point? What kind of answer to criticism of human rights abuse in Israel is “They do this in the US, too!” or “iran abuses human rights, too!” How does Israel escape criticism by such a tactic?

        • mary November 5, 2012, 11:08 PM

          Your assumptions once again catch you with your pants down. I’ve written my fingers to the bone and spoken so loudly I’ve cracked the windows on this issue. From the day the Patriot Act was passed, in fact. There are some of us who speak according to important ethics and principles, not out of bigotry or hatred. Maybe in your case, the moment someone kills a member of your family with a drone you will wake up. I guess there is no other way to show you how utterly unacceptable it is for any of us to live in a world where we are fair game because of accusations we do not even have the right to know about or respond to (or even worse, no accusations at all).

  • Deïr Yassin November 4, 2012, 4:23 AM

    Thank you, Richard, for not forgetting Dirar Abu Sisi. His little daughter Maria is still waiting for that doll…..

    PressTv – I know the hasbaristas are going to scream – had this about his case recently. Ahmad Sa’adat mentioned Abu Sisi’s case specifically as an example of the Israelis not respectng the prisoners deal.

  • yankel November 4, 2012, 11:20 AM

    Bearing in mind the courts’ flimsy standing in Israel’s Theo-Nationalist society, honest individuals in the judiciary might see themselves trying to balance a will to administer justice against the certainty of thus hastening the elimination of whatever justice they might still offer.

    Undeclared Apartheid practices – in various forms and intensity – underlie most aspects of Israeli life. The courts cannot be an exception even if they wished to. Whatever little justice offered to hostile non-Jews, Palestinians in particular, is delivered only to appease Western public opinion.

    Whoever manges to push Abusisi’s appalling fate into international public visibility is doing a major service to justice (let alone a great Mitzvah). Thanks Richard.

    • Davey November 4, 2012, 12:03 PM

      Yankel suggests that the judiciary is reduced to cooperation in order, perhaps, to make things a little less unjust. If so, it is the kind of reflexive thinking that may one feel better but doesn’t change the cooperation. I don’t think that cooperation with wrong can ever be right.

      • yankel November 4, 2012, 12:17 PM

        Just for the record: I was not suggesting anything about the rightfulness or otherwise of cooperative judiciary, but my theory of their mind.

        By the way, Davey, have you bothered to read past the first paragraph?

        • Davey November 4, 2012, 5:35 PM

          My remark was restricted to that single idea because I’ve heard it elsewhere, in many histories of tyranny, and I have had to cope with the concept. I have no other issue with your comments and appreciate the information and insight.

    • yankel November 4, 2012, 1:37 PM
  • Piotr Berman November 4, 2012, 8:40 PM

    “honest individuals in the judiciary…”

    I would say that “well meaning but opportunistic” is not the same as “honest”. It is hard to be overly appalled by Israeli judiciary, at least they do not have a Constitution to violate unlike American courts.

    On a totally different note, I think that the theory that Hamas fed false intelligence to Mossad is a speculation. It is hard to see how Mossad could mistake a non-existing Hamas School of Rocket Sciences with an existing institution.

    • mary November 5, 2012, 12:15 AM

      Oh, I don’t know, Piotr. They seem to see nuclear weapons facilities in Iran which do not exist.

    • Richard Silverstein November 5, 2012, 1:07 AM

      I’m the first one who reported Abusisi’s disappearance. You trusted me when I reported that, right? Gabriel Gatehouse used my research to produce his own BBC documentary on this in which he interviewed Hamas’ Gazi Hamid who essentially disowned Abusisi in a cold, brutal way. Before putting my theory together I consulted Gatehouse & others who find what I wrote persuasive.

      So if you want to doubt my view about Hamas’ betrayal you should point out to me what Hamas has done on his behalf, why he was deliberately excluded from the Shalit prisoner exchange, & why he is one of only 2 Palestinian prisoners held in solitary confinement against the accord that was signed which led to freeing Shalit.

      • Piotr Berman November 6, 2012, 3:30 PM

        You correctly point out that the fact that Hamas did not try to bargain about Abu Sisi suggest that they do not view them as “their man” and “their problem”. After all, we left Gaza and actually was never one of them even when in Gaza. It also stands to reason that someone had to provide false “humint” on Abu Sisi. But it remains a leap to conclude that Hamas decided to feed such false info to Mossad. After all, informers are under pressure to find something “useful”.

        Generating stories that put Hamas in bad light can be in Mossad interest, so I think extra caution is warranted.

        • Richard Silverstein November 6, 2012, 8:34 PM

          I’m not partial to Hamas OR the Israeli government. I mistrust both. Though generally there seems to be more truth coming from Hamas than Israel. However, on this I think Hamas is behaving truly skunkily.

          I have confirmed with both Dirar’s brother & his lawyer that Hamas hasn’t lifted a finger for Dirar. Hamas would even help Fatah prisoners if there was something in it for them. But for someone who defied their authority? That person could freeze in hell. And he is.

  • Dan Silagi November 5, 2012, 3:58 AM

    Nuclear weapons facilities don’t exist in Iran? Really? Then why don’t the Iranians cooperate with the UN and show this to the world?

    If they allowed outside inspectors in, and it turned out the reactors at Fordo (and other places) were strictly for peaceful uses of atomic energy — including medicinal uses — than the Israelis would look like a bunch of damned warmongering fools, and so would we.

    So why don’t they do this, and vindicate themselves in the process?

    • Richard Silverstein November 5, 2012, 5:47 PM

      When Israel becomes an NPT signatory then I’ll get upset about Iran’s violations. Iran has adhered much more closely to the NPT even with its supposed violations than Israel. Your concern is misplaced I’m afraid.

    • mary November 5, 2012, 11:14 PM

      How do you prove a negative, Dan? Iran is supposed to show the world every square inch of its country to prove what isn’t there? This is what the NNPT is for; it is an agreement that, when signed, is to be a pledge against proliferation or development of any nuclear device outside the perimeters of the agreement.

      On the other hand, Israel refuses to sign it or to allow weapons inspectors to see its weapons and facilities – a country which is well known to be violent, irrational and hegemonic, and is engaged in an illegal occupation and siege. Yet, Israel is not required to do a thing but at the same time screams like Chicken Little. How do the Sudanese feel about this, or the Lebanese, the Palestinians, the Egyptians and the Syrians?

  • dickerson3870 November 5, 2012, 7:17 PM

    ● Gabriel Gatehouse’s excellent BBC documentary on Dirar Abusisi (30 min.) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013flf5

  • john ferre November 5, 2012, 10:25 PM

    these all wild speculations of people having no clue as to the materials
    in this missile engineer files

    reportage articles based on speculations

    when the facts will be made available by Ukraine some of the commentsators
    above will have to deink soup

  • mary November 7, 2012, 2:15 AM


    I found this piece on Abusisi from the BBC, which is rather biased but contains some information that might be useful to anyone who wishes to see it.

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