Israel Files Charges Against Abusisi, Accuses Him of Being Hamas Weapons Maker, Channel 10 TV Interview
Earlier today, the Israeli State prosecutor released its charges (full Hebrew version, this is a partial English translation prepared by Dena Shunra) against Dirar Abusisi. And to read it, you’d think he was the Werner von Braun of Hamas, it’s chief rocket designer and the brains behind the movement’s most advanced weapons systems. How a simple man, father of six, and electrical engineer helping run the enclave’s sole power plant becomes such an eminent figure is a bit hard to fathom.
But let Shabak and Mossad lay it out for you. First, he enrolled in a Ukrainian PhD program in electrical engineering, where his PhD advisor was Constantine Petrovich, a supposed expert in the development of SCUD rocketry. Prof. Petrovich was apparently in on the plan to turn Abusisi into the mastermind of Hamas’ weapons development program. As part of his devious, conniving plan:
[He intended] to take part in lessons and academic activity relating to ballistic weaponry and of having obtained extensive knowledge in the field of developing missiles and mechanisms for the control, propulsion, and stabilization of them.
When he returned to Gaza, he allegedly began his life as a covert Hamas operative, recruited by Hamas senior leader, Nizar Rayan, conveniently assassinated by Israel during Cast Lead and not available to contradict the “evidence” offered. The charges also note the involvement of another Hamas military figure, Salah Shehadeh in Abusisi’s military career. Shehadeh too was murdered by Israel.
One factor I find astonishing is that the charge sheet practically lays out the entire military leadership of Hamas that was involved in weapons development. I’ve never know Shabak or Aman to give away such information for free and make is so easily accessible. In fact, the charge sheet is a treasure trove of data over which Hamas intelligence operatives will feast their eyes. I’m guessing the reason it was willing to be so explicit is either it’s killed all of these individuals and no longer cares about revealing what it knows about the them, or it’s speaking a load of rubbish (or both).
In fact, if Abusisi was so instrumental in this weapons program why wasn’ tthere a single attempt made on his life. Many or most of the other figures mentioned as being his mentors were either killed or targeted, but not Abusisi? Why?
Interestingly, the charges claim he joined the organization while working for the Gaza electrical utility and that such affiliation was “prohibited.” Prohibited by whom? By Hamas? Why would Hamas prohibit an electrical worker from being a member? And if they’re claiming this occurred when the PA ran Gaza, and there was such a prohibition, how is a violation of the rules in Gaza subject to criminal charges within Israel?
Besides, just yesterday I linked to an Israeli press report that interviewed two fellow power plant workers who emphatically denied he was a Hamas member. Either this guy is a super-spy able to conceal his activities from fellow workers who visited his home numerous times; or the Shabak has gone completely off the rails with these charges.
The charge sheet continues breathlessly linking Abusisi to a leader of the Hamas military wing:
The Accused did this [ran the Gaza power plant] within the framework of his membership of a committee headed by senior Hamas activists Muhammad Dief, which dealt in the development and improvement of various types of missiles and mortars, including the Qassem, Yassine, Albattar, Abu Rassine, and Albana.
Then follows a litany of various weapons Abusisi is given sole credit for developing including the Qassam (22 km range), Yassine anti-tank missile, missiles capable of damaging Israeli armored personnel carriers, fins which stabilize the Al Battar missile. Finally, he is accused of transferring Russian rocketry research and development to Hamas (specifically the Igla missile).
The icing on the cake is this charge that Abusisi planned to found the equivalent of Hamas’ West Point, a military academy that would train its fighters in advanced weapons manufacture:
[He developed] the idea of establishing a military academy that would train the officers and commanding ranks in the Hamas for their functionality under warfare and took upon himself the task of establishing and managing the military academy…
According to Israeli intelligence, creation of the program came as part of a study by Hamas of its failures during Cast Lead. It’s of course entirely self-serving for the Shabak to claim Hamas admitted operational failure during the Gaza war.
If any of these charges are true (which I doubt) Abusisi has to be one of the worst rocket designers in the history of the field. Hamas does not have missiles capable of disabling Israeli tanks or armor. Its rockets are still notoriously unstable and ineffective. What has this engineer’s vaunted skills actually done to harm Israel?
Not to mention that he’d have to be busy enough to be three people with his schedule running the power plant and developing Hamas advanced rocketry systems. Where would he get the time? Unless he never slept.
To show how shabby and contrived these charges are, in one passage it says the charges against him involve his participation in Hamas weapons making from 2002-2008. And in another section it claims he developed the concept for the military academy around the time of Operation Cast Lead, which was in 2009.
The charge sheet makes no claims whatsover about Gilad Shalit, which proves that interviews in which Bibi Netanyahu made such a claim were patently false and misleading.
Here’s what I think may be Israel’s motives. It has not been able to stop rockets landing in southern Israel and it has not been able to free Gilad Shalit. In Abusisi, they’ve got a twofer: they can reassure Israelis from the south that they’ve nabbed one of their worst nemeses and they can score points among the nationalist right by claiming they’ve nabbed someone who has specific knowledge about Shalit which could lead to his freedom. As I’ve already written, this is an incredibly cynical ploy desgined to manipulate the fears of the Israeli public.
The charge sheet mentions nothing about his activity in Ukraine and does not question his claim that he was actually planning to become a Ukrainian citizen and leave Gaza for good. So Mossad nabbed him after he’d ended his affiliation with Hamas and after he left the field of battle. It’s like shooting someone in the back as they run away from you.
Channel 10’s Tzinor Layla program offered me my first interview on Israeli TV. Titled, The Blogger Who Gives the Security Services a Big Headache, the interviewer did a relatively good job. But there were two smart aleck program hosts, Raviv Drucker and Kirschenbaum, who insisted on adding their brand of cynicism and levity to the proceedings. One asked how I supported myself and the blog (presumably searching for those Saudi petrodollars) and the other geezer suggested (only half in jest) that Ukraine or China might want to kidnap me, bring me to Israel, where I too could be tried right alongside Abusisi. I thought it was hilarious too. Just like you.
NOTE: Two Israelis I respect said the comments were meant in jest. I’ve only listened on a laptop with poor audio in an office with others talking. So they could be right.
37 thoughts on “Israel Files Charges Against Abusisi, Accuses Him of Being Hamas Weapons Maker, Channel 10 TV Interview – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Strangely, the only information on this Constantine Petrovich is either reprints of the gSS allegations against abusisi, or information on a famous soviet astronaut who died in 2009. Could it be that some clown at the gSS googled “Ukrainian missile expert” and came up with Mr. Petrovich’s name, just to have a ‘logical’ connection of abusisi>Ukraine>PhD>rockets>quassam>terrorist?
Petrovich sounds like a paternal name, rather than a family name. It’s common in the Russian speaking countries to address people by the paternal name.
The whole thing looks like they don’t have a clue who this Petrovich is (if he exists).
I suggest replacing Constantine Petrovich with Boris Badenov – this will sound more credible.
I agree, but occasionally such patronimics do turn into last names in Slavic languages. I know of a famous Tungusologist called Vasilevich for instance, who was a woman by the way, so her patronimic (if her father had been called Vasili) would have been Vasileva.
“How a simple man, father of six, and electrical engineer helping run the enclave’s sole power plant becomes such an eminent figure is a bit hard to fathom.”
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Hamas operatives have children too. Haniyeh has 13. Some even have doctorates- Nizar Rayan had one. And people are generally quite complicated.
“Shehadeh too was murdered by Israel.”
Would you also refer to Taliban fighters killed by American forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan as having been murdered?
“One factor I find astonishing is that the charge sheet practically lays out the entire military leadership of Hamas…”
Marvelous. Had the indictment not been made public you would’ve used that to argue that the charges were trumped up. Now you’re using the fact that they it was published to argue the same.
“Many or most of the other figures mentioned as being his mentors were either killed or targeted, but not Abusisi? Why?”
Because he was good at concealing his activities? Because the Shabak isn’t omnipotent? Because they preferred to capture and interrogate him? Any combination of the above?
“Hamas does not have missiles capable of disabling Israeli tanks or armor.”
Yes it does.
“Its rockets are still notoriously unstable and ineffective. ”
They serve their purpose as tools of terrorism.
“The charge sheet makes no claims whatsover about Gilad Shalit, which proves that interviews in which Bibi Netanyahu made such a claim were patently false and misleading.”
Netanyahu claimed that Abu Seesi had something to do with Shalit? All I remember is that Der Spiegel suggested that he did, and Barak denied it.
“As I’ve already written, this is an incredibly cynical ploy desgined to manipulate the fears of the Israeli public.”
As far as I can tell, you’ve come to that conclusion every single time an Arab has been arrested on security charges…
I have to agree with Yotam. While I do appreciate your work Richard (and I am a fervent follower of this blog) it seems to me that you’re touched by the very same prejudice you go against. I understand the need to defend the underdog, but a lot of the times it seems you’re so convinced of your cause that you won’t hear it otherwise. That’s not to say that you censor your blog, but it appears that a debate with you is futile, as you’re so sure of the inherent injustice of the system.
I don’t know who your informants are, or from what sources you derive your understanding of Israeli society and establishment. However, as an Israeli with some interest and insight to some of your topics I find that more than once you’ve based your posts on guesses and speculations. While it is perfectly legitimate, it is also slightly unfair. The Shabak (or Mukhabarat as you unjustly call them) isn’t perfect, far from it. It is a bureaucratic institution and as such is prone to error, but it’s not the terrible conspiratorial monster you claim it to be. Neither is Mossad, nor the IDF. Things aren’t that black and white.
I don’t consider myself a Zionist. I’m not even what you’d call right-wing. I am however a solid-minded critic. As such, while I agree with some of your thoughts, I think you lack the knowledge and the understanding to accurately judge in these cases. I do hope you will continue challenging the censorship. It’s both important and interesting to read. I only urge you to be more impartial, and to distinguish more clearly between the facts and your opinions and speculations.
As to whether the Shabak is a golem run amok, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I note that you claim I engaged in guesses & speculation but refuse to offer any examples of when I’ve been proven wrong. There are a few examples, but in the overall scheme of all the stories I’ve written my record is one I’m proud of.
You merely state that the IDF, MOssad & Shabak are really decent guys despite a few flaws but offer no proof to back up your statement. That’s not a very credible statement as you’re articulated it.
You may not be what YOU call “right-wing,” but I wouldn’t go so far as to claim as you have that you’re not what I would call that. Anyone who finds laudable things to say about Shabak after all the reporting I’ve done on them isn’t exactly a flaming leftist to put it mildly.
I think I have plenty of knowledge & understanding to accurately judge these cases. And I think that Channel 10, if they agreed with you, wouldn’t have offered me an opportunity to be featured on Tzinor Layla.
Can you give me a single instance in which my reports on Abusisi have been based on “opinion & speculation” rather than “fact??”
As you’ve admitted yourself “there are a few examples” of where you’ve been wrong, so what makes you a credible source, exactly? Your opinions? You didn’t even manage to “investigate” the name of the TV host of the show you appeared on!
Disagreeing with you doesn’t make someone automatically “right wing”. However posting a fake quote under your donate button (Channel 10 didn’t call you “the Wikileaks of Israel” – they mocked your claim to be that) does make you look tacky.
You’re a liar or ignorant. Nitay Elboim in a story posted in video format on this blog said precisely what I claimed.
So it’s you who have the credibility problem. I have reported approx. 10-12 stories based on Israeli sources. Two were based on scams fed me by sources seeking to burn me. There have been no other false reports.
When you get into the business & develop a better record let me know.
And if make further false claims here you will be moderated.
In the video posted on this post, Nitai Elboim doesn’t say you are the wikileaks of Israel, i do remember he said that in another video, but if you remember correctly Guy Lerrer (or maybe it was Druker and Kireshenbaum) stated there is a huge difference between your blog and wikileaks and there is no resemblance, as You are fed by a source who shares with you information which is a common knowledge of a wide group (reporters) and he does that to bypass gag orders.
Wikileaks provide first hand info kept secret. bug difference.
If all Olah watched was the video you post here, she wasn’t lying.
I never said Nitay said this in THIS video. I said he said it in “another” video I display on this site. It was about 1-2 months ago & it’s still available. I don’t concede that anyone said anything of the sort as you claim since you are an untrustworthy source. I’d be willing to examine a transcription to determine whether your claim is correct. But no matter, if anyone did make such a claim on Israeli TV they are wrong. Wikileaks too was fed by an inside source, Bradley Manning and, as the material was top secret, it was under it’s own U.S. version of a gag order (that is, the “top secret” designation).
You have no idea who knows the information I’m provided. Some of it may be known by others, but much of it isn’t. And if it IS known by others who refuse to report it then it’s a scoop nonetheless & a service to Israeli democracy that it be known.
She was lying because she said Channel 10 never called me the Wikileaks of Israel, when it did. If she’d qualified her statement by saying they didn’t say it in this video, then she would be correct. But she didn’t. Therefore she’s ignorant. And knowing she was wrong, if she repeats it again, she’ll be lying.
Untrustworthy my a..,
Please Richard, let’s just see if you would have enough integrity to publish this post.
Guy Lerrer Time Marker 0.24 – 1:05
הוא קורא לעצמו, ג’וליאן אסאנג’ הישראלי ולאתר שלו לבלוג שלו תיקון עולם, הוא קורא הוויקיליקס הישראלי
במשך שנים הוא מפרסם פרסומים באמת גדולים, ההבדל בינו ובין וויקיליקס, שוויקיליקס הביא את זה ממקורות איפורמציה חדשים שהוא עצמו חשף, ומה שריצ’ארד סילברסטיין עושה הוא לחשוף דברים שכבר ידועים לקבוצה מאוד גדולה של עיתונאים אלא שהם תחת צו איסור פירסום או תחת מגבלות של הצנזורה …..
And translation to English, he calls himself the Israeli Julian Asange, and to his site, his blog Tikun Olam he calls the wikileaks of Israel. The main difference between him and wikileaks is that wikileaks exposed new information, while Richard silverstein expose information already known to a very large group of Israeli news reporters but as they are under gag or under censorship limitations….
Now, I challenge you to provide a link to the Video you claim available on this site at which nitai Elbouim called you the wikileaks of Israel (i Didn’t find it.)
You can always email Guy lerrer and ask him: email@example.com
You ARE untrustworthy as I will prove later today in a diff. matter. And as for being an ass, you are one of these as well because you accused me in a private e mail of having a “big mouth.”
As for the suppositions of this newscaster, they are just that, his personal views which are WRONG. He’s created a distinction with no meaning. The information I expose is widely withheld from Israelis just as the information Wikileaks was top secret & therefore withheld from the world. It makes no difference whether 100 Israeli journalists know a secret but refuse to report it. They’ve still denied the vast majority of Israelis knowledge of important information about potential abuses perpetrated by their secret police. Just as Bradley Manning exposed U.S. secrets which made known embarrassing information privy to the U.S. gov’t.
You’ll have to take it up with Nitay, who made the original statement. I think the comparison was justified though luckily I don’t face time in prison as Bradley Manning & Assange do.
I’m not going to be yr collaborator. If you want to smear me you’ll have to do it on your own. My reputation is intact. I don’t need to defend it or find videos for you.
And if you continue in this abusive vein you’l be gone from these threads.
And do NOT include anyone’s real e mail address in any comment you publish. You’ve just opened Guy Lerer’s e mail address to be harvestted by all the world’s e mail spammers.
The difference between the types of information is that in the US no one knows about it, it’s kept top secret. in Israel by your own admission (in the same interview with Guy lerrer) you have a source who’s a second class reporter, who is getting exposed to the classified information via GAG orders received in the news paper hub.
big different, but hey don’t let that stop you. the same way you don’t let Your Love for israel state that Israel knowingly targets Palestinian civilians, That you are a zionist etc.
as for your Nitai Elbouim collaboration, give me a brake, you state it’s available on your site, prove it. its not here, he never said that. You are lying.
I never said he was a 2nd class reporter & you either don’t understand English or are deliberately misstating my words. I said he was not a senior ranking reporter, but rather a hard-working mid-level journalist, by which I was only referring to his age & status & certainly the quality of his or her reporting as you so sneeringly did.
Now you’re deliberately contradicting yourself because you yourself in a comment earlier today conceded that you had heard Elboym say it. And here is the post displaying the video in which he did.
Further, my source receives information in myriad ways including directly from government sources. And you’d know that if you’d bother to read about the various scoops I’ve reported. So you are wrong on that count as well.
One of my cardinal rules is those who accuse me of lying are immediately banned. As you now are.
When someone writes “I don’t consider myself a Zionist” (but …), we know all too well what that often means. Kind of ‘maybe great injustices were done in the past, but we have to forget and move on’. Of course without redressing the injustices.
Minor correction – yesterday Yaron London didn’t host the show, instead it was Raviv Drooker (black hair) and Moti Kirshenbaum (gray hair).
Sorry, the heading atop the report on the Channel 10 web page said that the show was “Yaron and Kirschenbaum.” I assumed that’s who they were.
Throughout your report you consistently doubt any allegations brought up by the Government of Israel and its security forces. However anything alleged by Abu Sisi or his friends you don’t doubt at all.
Do you think that this is fair reporting? To me it seems too one sided to be taken seriously.
I’ll tell you what: I’ll accept allegations of the security apparatus when it’s accompanied by either credible evidence or charges that are more than words written on paper. When you read the post I’m about to publish, you’ll understand slightly better why these charges are a tissue of lies in my considered opinion.
If my reporting isn’t accurate then prove it. Prove with reliable evidence or facts that something I wrote is wrong.
From an “expert” (by own admission) of the Israeli life, i expect to be able to tell the difference between Raviv Druker and Yaron London.
Bibi, never claimed Abu-Sisi had any information about Gilad Shalit, he said that he will not discuss the specifics of the information Abu-Sisi gave, and just said it was of a valuable nature.
“I’m guessing the reason it was willing to be so explicit is either it’s killed all of these individuals and no longer cares about revealing what it knows about the them, or it’s speaking a load of rubbish (or both).”
The “Security apparatus” (as you call it) didn’t try to hide the fact that Abu-Sisi was in Israel, yes a gag order was issued, but Abu-Sisi was given the opportunity to call his wife and report that he was kidnapped and held in Israel ?
The reason for both (outlining the information in the charge sheet, and letting him report of his whereabouts) is very simple, the “Security Apparatus” was sending a very loud and clear msg. the Hamas leadership: We know everything and we can get to all of you, either kill you or arrest you so (as they say in arabic) “DIR BALAK”
and between is you’ll read Ron Ben-Yishai (ynet yesterday) Abu-Sisi was extremely cooperative during his interrogation.
Ehud Barak claimed Abusisi both knew about & provided information about Gilad Shalit. Bibi merely implied it. But any Israeli viewer will understand the code words he used to mean the same thing that Barak said.
Of course they tried to hide the fact that he was in Israel. If they weren’t hiding the fact, why do you think I was the first one to report instead of Druker or any other Israeli reporter? There was a gag. Why do you think that was? Because they were willing to tell the world they had him?
Abusisi wasn’t “extremely cooperative.” If he had been it wouldn’t have taken them 45 days to break him down. BTW, my blog post tonight authenticate just how cooperative & reliable the information that he gave them was. Ron Ben Yishai reported on Abusisi’s “cooperativeness” based on self-serving intelligence sources. Just how reliable do you think such sources are? Especially as they are anonymous & unverifiable? I’m always amazed at how credulous some Israelis are about sources. You believe everything your government feeds you, test nothing. You believe nothing the victims of the Shabak tell you automatically. It’s mind-boggling, really.
Now you are fabricating news:
You claim that Ehud Barak stated that Abu-Sisi had information related to gilad shalit, however the following passage is from 03/31/2011 Haretz:
“בראיון לקול ישראל נשאל היום שר הביטחון, אהוד ברק, על חטיפתו של אבו סיסי. ברק סירב לחשוף את הרקע למעצרו, אך הוסיף כי “לא מדובר על קשר ישיר לפרשת שליט. יש לו מידע אינטימי פנימי על מה קורה בחמאס ויש לזה ערך חשוב, לאו דווקא בפרשת שליט””
In in interview with Kol Israel Ehud Barak was asked about the reasons to the abduction of Abu-Sisi from Ukraine, Barak refused to provide background but added that there is no direct correlation to Gilad Shalit, and added that Abu-Sisi had a first hand knowledge of the inner workings of Hamas, not necessarily related to Gilad Shalit.
where are you getting your information from ? Bazuka Joe ?
I reported earlier that the spokesperson for a non profit dedicated to freeing Shalit claimed the leak about Abusisi’s connection to Shalit was planted by the PM’s office in order to take credit for doing something about him when it is doing nothing. So there is a credible claim of Bibi’s involvement in the leak.
Also, Barak didn’t quite say what you claim. Here’s JTA:
Lol, the original Hebrew words are quoted and you choose to add a translation? 😛
1. Abusisi does not have a chance in Israel Justice system. When accused, huge percentage go to jail, no matter how shalow the evidence are.
2. The one that talked (making jokes) was Raviv Druker, who just did a big research on Israel prime-minister (and his family) flights around the world payed by zilioners and fund rasing organizations. This item is the hottest one in Israel press for this year and has started an inquiry….
First of all congrats on your appearance on Israeli TV. I do love London and Kirschenbaum 😛 An amusing couple.
What if a serial killer decides to end his business and go to Hawaii? Would bringing him to trial at that point be considered as “shooting someone in the back as they run away from you”?
Are you implying that Abusisi is a serial killer? Read tonight’s upcoming post about his “confession” before you make a judgement on his “extracted” testimony & its credibility, which goes to the reliability of anything he gave them.
I wasn’t implying anything. I was continuing your line of thought and showing why your analogy is false. IF the charges are true, of course – nobody cares that Abusisi had terminated his affiliation with Hamas.
RE: “you’d think he was the Werner von Braun of Hamas” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: Or perhaps ‘Josef K.’ of Kafka’s “The Trial”!
The Trial – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trial
You write: “Mossad nabbed him after he’d ended his affiliation with Hamas and after he left the field of battle”. What makes you think that abu sisi ended his affiliation with Hamas? Is it the fact that he relocated to Ukraine? Can’t he keep advising and instructing the hamas from Ukraine? And cant he move back from Ukraine to gaza whenever he wishes?
Also, you describe abu sisi as a “simple man, father of six, and electrical engineer helping run the enclave’s sole power plant “. how do YOU know?
According to this report (translated by Google) in a Russian-speaking Ukrainian publication, they are probably talking about Konstantin Petrovich Vlasov, who worked at the Kharkov Academy of Сity Planning at the time when Dirar Abu Sisi studied there and who had nothing to do with any arms research or development:
There is one thing that you don’t answer:
Why would the mosad/shabac bring this person to Israel for questioning if they do not think that they could get valuable information out of him. This is not the police that needs to show they found the bad guy and just blame somebody, this organization needs to prevent something that you don’t have any idea about. So give them some credit. So far they showed enough times that they know their job.
Far be it from me to understand the motivation of your secret police.
What distresses me about your approach is to place implicit trust in them. It’s an amazingly paternalistic approach. Big Brother knows what’s best.
Yes this is the difference between Israel and the US or other countries . You trust with your won security your own people because you were there when you were in service. You know them and their motivation. You can call it as you like but you cannot say that you trust your servicemen the same way.