Walla publishes a persuasive article interviewing two of Dirar Abusisi’s long-time colleagues at the Gaza power plant where he served as deputy director, who deny emphatically the claims of Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu that the engineer was affiliated with Hamas:
“It’s easy to identify Hamas supporters,” said Muhammad Shambari, a fellow power plant worker. You can tell who they are by their behavior, by their speech. From the point of view of a devout Hamas follower, Abusisi was not religiously devout. He was accustomed to pray as we all do, but no more so [as Hamas followers would]. I was in his house and their are no pictures [of Hamas leaders] and no Hamas flags. Abusis is a completely ordinary man with no connection to Hamas.”
…Ibrahim Abu Shames, another plant worker said: “If he was a Hamas follower and shouted Hamas slogans wew would’ve noticed this. But every day he spent at the plant and every night he went home to his family. That’s all. He lived his life quietly with no connection to Hamas. We are certain of this.”
Shambari revealed that as deputy director of the plant Abisisi even criticized the Hamas authorities for the manner in which they regulated the electrical power. “He demanded that they activate the turbines but the authorities insisted on blacking out the enclave…He disagreed with this criticized this behavior.”
Shambari also reveals the surprising fact that in the Jabaliyeh refugee camp in north Gaza there is a Fatah office, and it is named after…Abusisi’s uncle! “Who knows, maybe he’s even a Fatah follower like a large portion of the rest of his family.”
“We don’t know why he was arrested,” say Abu Shames. Everyone here is asking themselves why. We were shocked when this happened and believed at first he’d been kidnapped by the Ukrainian mafia. We couldn’t imagine that Israel would do this. Abusisi is a decent man, a professional, serious individual. We await with apprehension the charges that are to be filed tomorrow. Though we can’t discount the possibility that he may confess to the charges under extreme duress.”
Here you have the possibility that Israel is attempting to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Abusisi’s family is widely known among his colleagues to be Fatah. Yet Shabak has somehow turned him into Hamas’ chief rocket designer under direct Iranian tutelage (or was he the guy who arranged for the arms shipment aboard the ship Victoria?). Does this even remotely pass the smell test?
I’m beginning to believe that this is yet another deeply cynical move by the Israel Mukhabarat to kidnap a key Gaza infrastructure worker and hold him for ransom–the ranson being the freedom of Gilad Shalit. The purpose of the adventure would be to harrass Hamas and the residents of Gaza saying they will pay an ever steeper price for their continuing intransigence in freeing the IDF soldier.
It may or not be relevant that Hamas yesterday announced the failure of the mediation of the German foreign minister who was attempting to negotiate for Shalit’s freedom.