Israeli Security Sources Hint Abu Seesi Involved in Weapons Manufacturing, Ukraine Collaborated in Kidnapping
With a partial gag in place, Israeli media can report on what the foreign media are saying about the extraordinary rendition of Dirar Abu Seesi from Ukraine to an Israeli prison, but they can’t generate original domestic reporting on the matter. This is course doesn’t seem to apply to the security services, who feel the need to get their hinted version of the charges against Abu Seesi into the media. So two Haaretz reporters with close ties to the intelligence services have published stories that by winks and nods hint that Abu Seesi is charged with aiding and abetting Hamas weapons manufacturing.
The problem with reporting on a national security state like Israel concerning a matter under gag (as this one is), is that no one, not the reporter or the unnamed source, can be explicit. It’s all done with a whisper. So here is what Amos Harel writes in Haaretz in an article describing the lengths to which Iran is going to train Gaza “engineers” (in all Israeli reporting on Abe Seesi’s case he has been called “the engineer”) to produce weapons:
The Iranians are placing an emphasis on training “engineers” who will serve as repositories of expertise for the manufacture of weapons, and who can organize independent Palestinian activity in this sphere.
Yossi Melman’s case is even more suggestive. His article describes an upcoming visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov to Israel (during which one wonders whether this case will be under discussion). Read this article a bit between the lines:
Israel and Ukraine Strengthen Mutual Collaboration
…In the context of such collaboration, there have been contacts between the security forces of each country and exchange of security information between them.
Within the framework of Ukraine’s pro-western approach, under the leadership of [former] Pres. Victor Yushenko, Ukraine collaborated with the CIA in the international war against terror, even permitting CIA personnel to work on its territory under the rubric of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. This was part of a wider program under which the U.S. asked countries in western and eastern Europe, the Middle East, and southeast Asia to detain those suspected of involvement with terror networks within their own territory and imprison them in secret detention facilities called “black holes” whose existence was not acknowledged. Afterwards, the detainees were flown in special planes procured by the CIA to third party nations or Guantanamo. Ukraine played a role in the detention, imprisonment and transfers that happened under this program.
There appears to be at least a strong hint on Melman’s part that Abu Seesi’s kidnapping was a similar act of extraordinary rendition in which the Ukrainian security services collaborated by first detaining and then holding Abu Seesi, later handing him over to Israeli agents who whisked him to Israel, in precisely the fashion described in Melman’s article. Yes, this is in part like parsing a Kabuki drama. Everything is through hints and whispers. But given the constraints under which everyone plays this game, Melman appears to be giving us the tools to understand what happened to Abu Seesi. Harel appears to be telling us why, at least from the security services’ perspective.
It’s worth noting that Israel’s Mossad has a long history of abducting enemies of the state from foreign soil and bringing them to Israel for detention. This began of course with Adolph Eichmann in the 1960s and several decades later Mordecai Vanunu was drugged and shipped back to Israel for having the temerity of tattling to a British newspaper about the Dimona reactor. There are claims that Israel abducted Ali Reza Asgari, the Iranian general, in Istanbul in 2007. Now Abu Deesi.
I should add that we still have heard nothing from the Israeli authorities about why the Gaza engineer was arrested and what he’s alleged to have done. We will have to continue to maintain pressure in order to get this to happen. For instance, I would urge Abu Seesi’s family and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which has taken up Abu Seesi’s case, to pressure Ukraine’s prime minister to press Israel for answers about what happened, to account for the Gazan, and accord him the rights accorded to all prisoners (to consult counsel, visit family, be free from abuse and torture). Ukraine owes it to this man.
On a humorous note, Yediot is reporting erroneously that the first news of Abu Seesi’s kidnapping was reported in an Israel Russian language news portal (it was actually first reported in the Ukrainian media) which credited as the original source an “Israeli blogger named Silverstein!!” After Channel 2 News called me “the Wikileaks of Israel” do you think this means that Bibi Netanyahu might bestow honorary Israeli citizenship on me for my services to Israeli democracy??
12 thoughts on “Israeli Security Sources Hint Abu Seesi Involved in Weapons Manufacturing, Ukraine Collaborated in Kidnapping – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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After Channel 2 News called me “the Wikileaks of Israel” do you think this means that Bibi Netanyahu might bestow honorary Israeli citizenship on me for my services to Israeli democracy??
Well you truly would deserve it, no doubt !!!
But sorry for being so straight forward, there is a big chance that they bestow something else on you, if you ever set a food on Israeli soil …..
(and i remember you mentioned before that this hurts you and your family)
Thanks for your great work,be well and keep going !
with love from Israel
I’m afraid the Ukranian authorities don’t give a damn about this case. They don’t give a damn about their own people, let alone some Palestinian man, regardless if he’s married to a Ukrainian. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ukranian KGB participated in this kidnapping. Security services in the countries of the former USSR are highly repressive, secretive and not accountable to the people. I hope that his wife reported the case to the police and that they opened a criminal invistigation.
Watch for my next post. You are right & then some.
I am pleased to see the articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and other places, despite their limitations.
The comments some are leaving are quite chilling.
The fact that many countries have long histories of these kinds of policies does not make it acceptable.
Thank you, again Richard. . .
If I’ve got my terminology right, “extraordinary rendition”, proudly introduced by the Bush (43) administration, refers to the kidnapping of persons to a third country, typically one where certain legal rights do not apply.
The (extralegal, for want of an orderly extradition process) abduction from abroad into one’s own country, as with Eichmann, Vanunu, and Abu Seesi, is simply “rendition”.
Anyone with a minimal knowledge of “tradecraft” will be aware that to kidnap someone off foreign territory takes months of collecting intel, planning, and exact operation with every alternative taken into consideration and much daring.
The international law infringement will have been taken into consideration as “collateral damage” to the importance of the mission.
The examples of Eichmann and Vaanunu prove this, and show that only in the most serious of cases would this line of action be taken (does anyone think it would have been a problem for Israel to cross the border into Gaza and take him from there?)
If he was indeed abducted, there are in my opinion two possible scenarios:
1) He is suspected of very serious security crimes (and may have been in hiding in Gaza or heavily guarded) – this will probably come out soon. Or:
2) He is actually a co-operator (“mashtap”) with Israel, and the kidnapping is an elaborate plan to pull him out before his co-operation is revealed and his head will be hunted in Gaza. His “imprisonment” will then be a face saver for him.
Any other reason would not be worth the risk or the potential damage (international opinion or agents being captured)
Abu Seesi wasn’t in Ukraine for months. He was there for about a week before being kidnapped.
Jeesh, you’re a judge & you come up with such nonsensical fabrications?? He was a working civil engineer & not in hiding at all. In fact his job was critical to the functioning of the power plant as his wife noted.
Nor is he a collaborator. But nice try for provoking disinformation. I know so much more about this case than you. Why don’t you just sit back & read & stop w. idle speculation that makes you appear laughable.
There was no risk in this case because Israel paid off in some form Ukraine to collaborate. So Mossad agents faced no threat of exposure. ALthough now they do & I hope will be made to pay a price for their outrageous behavior. Perhaps as a judge & attorney you’d care to criticize this violation of international law? Or are you too a collaborator with the political/legal system which perpetrated this outrage? Do tell.
An operation of this sort takes months to prepare, and even though he wasn’t in Ukraine for months he will have been watched and trailed for months until the right opportunity arises. There may have been alternate plans to kidnap from Egypt, Gaza or anywhere else he may have or planned to have visited, each with safehouses, and all other necessary operational facilities.
You may laugh at the collaberation theory, but we’ll see who laughs last. I’m still laughing at how you believed Dubai’s announcement that a mossad agent was arrested in Canada in connection with the Mabhouh killing. We’ll see here who laughs loudest.
As you are well aware International law is very grey, if there is/was an infringement then someone one day may be liable to stand trial. But as I’ve said many times here you and many of your fellow bloggers seem to attach an exaggerated importance to the effectiveness of International law. International law is more breeched all over the world in hundreds of topics than kept or enforced. It is a favorite of the “liberal” camps, but very rarely actually taken as binding when it opposes local interests, especially military or economical interests. (England is the best example in “officially” accepting the European parliament, but nearly every day acting unaccordingly as Brits simply don’t like Europe!)
There is a good, proven international practice called extradition. One country formally requests another country to arrest someone on certain charges and then requests extradition. If there is any merit to accusations and no evidence that the suspect will be tortured or his rights violated by the requesting country, extradition requests are mostly granted. So why wouldn’t Israel request arrest and extradition of Abu Seesi from the Ukraine? Jerusalem and Kiev do have an extradition treaty, and in 2009 Israeli surgeon Michael Zis was extradited from Ukraine to Israel on suspicion of organ trafficking. So either the Israeli authorities don’t have any incriminating evidence, or they know that everyone knows that a suspect like this would be stripped of any rights and probably tortured.
Britain is the member of the EU and is bound by the EU treaties it signs. If they disagree, they negotiate with the EU, like any other member state. If Israel signs Geneva Conventions, than let them please act accordingly or withdraw their signature altogether.
Shmuel, Israeli security services, government and the military don’t seem to be particularly concerned about International opinion. With all the illegal settlement activities and numerous violations of basic human rights in the occupied territories and international law infringements in Lebanon and Gaza, it is ridiculous to believe Israel cares about those. As for agents being captured, with all the so-called security cooperation going on between Israel and the Ukraine, there was no chance of agents being interfered with, let along captured, and they were most likely helped by their Ukrainean counterparts. The cooperation is being overseen at the highest level both in Ukraine and Israel. Here some examples:
1. Reuven Dinel, a close associate of Avigdor Lieberman and former Mossad agent who was declared persona non-grata in Russia for espionage activities and turned down as Israel ambassador by Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, has been accepted as ambassador by the Ukrainian authorities.
2. Just recently president Yanukovich announced that Israel will be helping with the security arrangements for the 2012 European Football Cup, co-hosted by Ukraine.
3. Prime minister Azarov is set to arrive in Israel next week to discuss expanding cooperation between their defense organizations.
So, with this high level of cooperation, I’d be surprised the Ukrainian authorities didn’t have a hand in Abu Seesi’s abduction. As I said in a previous comment, they don’t give a damn about a Palestinian man. So in this case, Israel doesn’t even need any compelling security reason to abduct him.
If he is indeed suspected of very serious security crimes, they could just as well say so and give him a trial. If he were a co-operator, why would his wife (who should be concerned with his safety) make such a fuss about it? In fact, she’d then be making herself and her children vulnerable to reprisals. So, I would disagree with your analysis.
Just catching up and was going to alert you to the Melman article which you had already picked up. My only (very minor) quibble on your article and logical conclusions is the kabuki analogy- surely Samizdat would be a better alternative or the official Soviet media during times of relative liberalisation. One way or the other it is really not the way a democracy is meant to work. It reminds me of the occasion of the murder of the two captured Palestinian bus hijackers. Not being able to publish anything about it. Coteret Rashit published that infamous picture of a South Vietnamese General executing a Viet Cong prisoner. http://www.flickr.com/photos/photohound/2280100281/
Not sure about Samizdat since these were texts containing valued truthful information that had to be circulated surreptitiously in defiance of the authorities. The knowledge I’m trying disseminate would surely qualify inside Israel as Samizdat. But the strange behavior of the Israeli media & authorities when confronted by a gag order seems more related to Kabuki with its strange, arcane rituals, performance style, & costumes.