B’Tselem and HaMoked have helped me track down Dirar Abu Seesi, after his kidnapping by the Mossad in Ukraine on February 18th. I reported earlier this month that he was in an Israeli prison. Now my NGO friends have tracked him down to Shikma Prison, near Ashkelon, where he is being held. Initially, he was held in the Shabak detention center Petah Tikvah, which would mean the Mossad handed him off to the Shabak once he landed on Israeli territory. Petah Tikvah is where they do the really bad stuff to you if you’re a Palestinian security detainee.
Now that he’s in Shikma, he has a public defender as his attorney.
I believe if there ever was a gag on this story it has probably been lifted. Otherwise, the NGOs wouldn’t have been able to access the information above.
Israel must be made to explain how a resident of Gaza can be kidnapped by the Mossad in a sovereign country and then smuggled back to Israel and imprisoned there. I can’t imagine how many violations of international law this entails, but it’s got to be a lot. What possible justification can Israel offer that would explain kidnapping him in a foreign country? After Israel kidnapped the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Ali Asgari in Istanbul in 2006, violated the sovereignty of Dubai to assassinate Mahmud al-Mabouh last year, and murdered several Iranian nuclear engineers over the past few years, it again thumbs its nose at the notion of national sovereignty.
Further, it’s shameful that Ukraine appears to have had some level of complicity in this. Otherwise, why would its police have denied the story that two individuals claiming to be security officials removed Abu Seesi from a train the night he was kidnapped?
We still do not know with what the Gaza civil engineer is charged.
By the way, just in case any Israelis wish to disparage the country’s human rights NGOs, this is an example of precisely why they’re crucial to Israeli “democracy” such as it is. Without them, Abu Seesi might just as well have disappeared into the maw of the secret police.
Now will some Israeli publication finally pick up this story and report it for God’s sake!!
For any Russian speakers, here is a new Russian-language blog called: Where’s Dirar?
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.