Mossad Kidnaps Gazan in Sinai
UPDATE: The leader of Hamas’ caucus in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Khalil al-Hayya, gave an interview to a Gaza journalist published at Al-Monitor. In it, he acknowledged Mossad’s kidnapping of Wael Abu Rida:
According to security information available to us, all sides concerned with Egyptian affairs are present in the Sinai, especially Israel — whose intelligence apparatus, the Mossad, managed to kidnap a young Palestinian man in the Sinai a few days ago and transfer him to Israeli prison — without the knowledge of Egyptian security authorities.
Also, I’m grateful to Egyptian political analyst, Dr. Sherifa Zuhur for posting about this incident in her blog. I’m hoping it will get some play in the Egyptian media and force the government to respond in some way.
In an event reminiscent of Israel’s kidnapping of Dirar Abu Sisi in the Ukraine two years ago, the Mossad kidnapped a Gazan, Wael Abu Rida in Sinai several days ago and returned him to Israel, where he is in prison. The event has been confirmed by a confidential Israeli source. I should know where he’s imprisoned shortly. Though it’s typical in such circumstances to not find out what the charges might be against him. The victim had traveled to Sinai seeking medical attention for his wife. He was at one time affiliated with Islamic Jihad but more recently worked with another militant group, Al Aqsa Defenders.
It’s certainly a violation of Egyptian sovereignty for Israel’s intelligence services to operate in Sinai and engage in such a bold, semi-public act. It’s equally certain that the Mossad wouldn’t be there without the at least tacit understanding of Egyptian intelligence, if not their direct connivance. Though it should be noted in the Update above, that a Hamas leader claims the security apparatus didn’t know or approve of the incursion. That of course begs the question: why didn’t they, and what were they doing when Mossad agents infiltrated Egypt’s border?
Remember that in an incident having some parallels, Ukrainian security services participated directly in the abduction of Abusisi in a Kiev-bound railway train. There certainly must be a quid pro quo for such cooperation as well, as there was when Israel announced liberalized visa and trade agreements with Ukraine shortly after Abusisi’s kidnapping. What Egypt is getting for this is anyone’s guess. But it does make you wonder just how steadfast Egypt is in it professions of allegiance to the Palestinian cause.
This is yet another violation of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which the two signed to end Operation Pillar of Cloud.
The arrest of Abu Rida is under gag inside Israel, no doubt to dampen the controversy of its covert operatives operating flagrantly on Egyptian soil. I hope that Egyptian media will pick up this story and make it known to the Egyptian public.
26 thoughts on “Mossad Kidnaps Gazan in Sinai – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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The story appears on the Palestinian Alresalah site and adds that he is a “freedom fighter”.
It’s not a crime to be a ff but it certainly implies that this was not some Mossad fiasco or getting the wrong man like you claimed with Abu sisi.
The issue is that Israel invaded Egyptian sovereignty in kidnapping him, possibly–likely with the connivance or tacit approval of Egypt.
if as you speculate it was conducted under tacit approval of Egypt you can’t use the expression “invaded Egyptian X”. Otherwise, if you do insist on speculating more on the direction of invasion (which is always under no agreement) then remove your solid assumption that Egyptian authorities agreed to the operation. But then your whole story doesn’t catch water. Perhaps the speculation is that this operation was a joint, collaboration, between authorities of both countries, and no invasion whatsoever that should or must be published in any newspaper of any country (perhaps the people in Gaza should be interested but not really the people in Cairo or Tel-Aviv). The public can easily get away of not knowing of every arrested terrorist. The courts will do their work.
@Yaron: It doesn’t matter whether Egyptian security forces allowed Israel to operate inside Egypt or not. Israeli agents “invaded” Egypt. That is, they extended their war against Gaza to Egyptian soil. That’s an invasion–that is, a violation of Egyptian sovereignty.
Whether Egyptian security forces allowed Israel to operate inside Egypt or not is a crucial matter for the use of the term “invasion”. I, as many others, would use such a term to mean an action against will, where the active side uses force, with hostility towards the passive side or intent to take something under no agreement. I don’t want to argue about phrasing too much because you are an excellent writer. I’d admit that the use of “invasion” was poetic at most (or even a mistake). About extending the war against Gaza to Egyptian soil, as I said in my subsequent reply, let the Egyptian people talk for themselves. It is possible that many people in Egypt and their army too would act against such a person and perhaps even define him as a terrorist regardless of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
@Yaron: I would have no problem with Egypt taking action against individuals they don’t want inside their country for whatever reason. I just don’t believe Israel should be doing it for them.
Hypothetically, having the countries collaborate on legal matters, with public support on both sides, is (and will be) a great advance toward peaceful living. Let us support that at least! Highlight the good things that MAY have happened here.
@Yaron: What “good things” happen when countries collaborate to kidnap other countries citizens on their soil??
Sometimes “good things” are the better things one can do in terrible scenarios. Killing, kidnapping or in this case arresting, MAY save lives – We don’t know the answer but for sure no one can argue that it was more of an Israeli interest than Egyptian interest to arrest this person – we simply don’t know. The court and the people will speak. About using the term “kidnap”, it is misleading, defiant; legality issues are not clear here (to me) as I’m not an international lawyer but for many people (also here) this collaborative action seems to be no invasion and not a kidnap. If Egypt and other Muslim countries will collaborate with Israel on security issues, democratically, then the quite and prospects for peace will emerge. That’s a great thing.
@Yaron: Typical Israeli delusional psychopathology. Taking a man against his will from one country to another & slapping him in leg irons isn’t kidnapping. It’s…what? Summer camp?
I must say you are the English writer:
Kidnap: to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, especially for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.
Arrest: to seize (a person) by legal authority or warrant; take into custody
Noe of these can perfectly describe “arresting/kidnapping” a potential murderer/terrorist over seas. However, which of which is MORE appropriate for this (according to most speculations, also yours) Israeli-Egyptian joint, legal, action?
Richard, you are underestimating the importance of a regime securing his citizens life. Sometime overseas. It is not kidnapping because there are courts to supervise. It is not a kidnap because of the collaboration. But another important point is related to making justice. Sometimes, someone, a human being, is taken against his will from one country to another for the sake of doing justice and complying with legal authority per se: Adolf Eichmann? Protect what needs to be protected. It is a great thing to be able to read your news, or potential news, but please be more objective as to do with human lives. As much as people should fear from an impotent authorities that would not move their fingers to save human life, we should appreciate any successful attempt to arrest a terrorist and the court will make its voice later if the case is otherwise. Am I not making any good point? You seem to be a reasonable person. I would like to hear how you incorporate the facts that Egyptians were involved in this act and that Israeli courts supervise this operation and his arrest and that there may be good preliminary reasons to believe that this person was and is dangerous, potentially someone who committed murder?? Kidnapping a potential murderer by authorities under approval of foreign authorities?
@Yaron: So once again based on the swill offered to the Israeli yellow press, you’ve determined that Abu Rida is a “potential murderer.” Do you have any proof for that claim. Or do you just make it up like your intelligence goons do? As I wrote earlier, I’m not going to entertain any discussion of the Abu Rida case that claims his guilt unless it’s based on evidence & proof. If you have none, don’t bother wasting your time or ours. And the word of a lying PR flack is not “evidence.”
Kidnapping a foreigner in another country isn’t legal. By any stretch of the imagination. It is simply a violation of international law. Plain & simple. Courts to supervise? Which ones? Like the ones in the Hague? Or the rubber stamps called “courts” in Israel?
So you believe that you do justice by doing injustice? A Gazan kidnapped by your government’s security services, which are known for lying through their teeth & killing suspects whether innocent or guilty before they’ve even had a chance for a trial, can do justice by violating international law (that’s the injustice)?? Because that’s not how ethical conduct works. You don’t act ethically by acting unethically. There is no such thing as the ends justify the means if the means are unethical or illegal.
Eichmann is an interesting question. By what right did Israel arrogate unto itself the hanging of Eichmann? Israel could’ve invoked the Nuremberg precedent and gathered a group of international jurists or the UN to do justice that would not have been seen to be vengeance.
As for “protection,” what are your secret police protecting? Their own perogatives? Their own power. The power of their political masters. What will give Israel the ultimate protection? Goons masquerading as security officials? Or real peace under which Israel makes peace with its enemies?
“Objective?” Is that what you call yourself & your security services? Objective? No, objectivity is international law created by the nations of the world to govern the conduct of these nations. Not the arbitrary needs of a state as defined by the extremists who run it. That is NOT objective. That’s about as subjective as you can get.
The court will take an active role in protecting Abu Rida’s rights? Which court? An Israeli court? Forget about it. Abu Rida has no rights. Courts are charades. His court appearances are theater to prove Israeli justice exists, when it doesn’t in security cases.
I didn’t say Egyptians “were involved” in the kidnapping. ONly that they knew it was happening. BTW, this is the same Egyptian military junta now running Egypt. Somehow their acquiescence in an Israeli kidnapping inside Egypt doesn’t instill great confidence in me that this decision represents the best interests of Egypt. Unless you define them as permitting a country with whom you have hostile relations from behaving as it wishes inside your own country.
Why doesn’t Israel return the favor & allow Jordanian, Syrian & Lebanese intelligence to kidnap individuals within Israel. If Abu Rida’s kidnapping doesn’t bother you then having foreign intelligence operatives active inside Israel kidnapping targeted individuals, you should have no problem with this. But you do, don’t you? That would be becuase you’re a hypocrite.
If you want to talk about potential or actual murderers, we can start with those IDF & security personnel who’ve murdered suspects or permitted them to die through negligence. That’s quite a significant crop of misdeeds.
The US deployed their troops to the Sinai a week or so ago. Interesting timing for the Mossad to enter.
[comment deleted–off topic. Read the comment rules carefully and make sure your comments deal directly with the post in whose thread you are publishing. Comments that are off topic may not be published. Also, before you determine that I don’t write about a subject you think I should write about–do research by searching for such posts before you make such judgments.]
You bring up 3 issues- I can understand you’re wishing this story will be publish both in Israel and Egypt, because the public’s right to know about it is important.
BUT – i don’t understand the 2 other issues: if the Egyptian security services knew and cooperated, it cannot be reffered as “invation” and hurt their sovereignty.
Now regarding Hamas and the “violation” of the ceasefire agreement. did you read this agreement? does it say something about arresting activists of other groups? you mentioned this guy is a member of “Al Aqsa Defenders”. they are probably hostile to hamas, so i would guess they won’t make any noise about it.
In conclusion- is it an interesting story? yes. are there any problems about it? no.
Thanks for your attempt to hasbarize the incident. First, while Egyptian intelligence may accept Israeli invasion of their sovereignty, I’d guess that millions of Egyptians might not agree and want their voice heard on the matter. So even if some elements of the Egyptian security services are OK with this doesn’t mean Egyptians as a whole are. Second, the ceasefire was not a document that only applied to Hamas. It applied to all of Gaza including all groups within Gaza. If Israel flagrantly disregards the ceasefire agreement, as it routinely does in such situations, this should be known both by Israelis (who won’t care) and the international community (who might). Third, if Hamas was “hostile” to Abu Rida, then it wouldn’t have published numerous articles about the incident in its own websit–& it did indeed “make a noise about it.”
Sorry, but you failed on all three counts. Try again.
Do you seek for an Egyptian “general will”? you won’t find it. Is there such thing as Egyptian sovereignty? because in sunday you might find many millions on the streets opposing the government in much bigger issues. Can you say all American people supporting the IDF? i guess there are millions who “might not agree”, but yet, any joint training is not a violation of the US sovereignty. “f some elements of the Egyptian security services (the elements that matters) are OK with this” – that’s enough.
About the agreement – neither you or me know for certain if this guy was only “seeking medical attention for his wife” or maybe preparing the next launching to Eilat? maybe the next attack from the Egyptian border like we seen on August 2011? Naturally we will disagree about it, and the burden of proof is on the Israeli side.
About the “noise”, it makes no impression on me. hamas has to play double role (maybe triple) – they want to weaken the small militant group (for theirselves, not for Israel) but to be seen as “palestinian shield”, opposing and resisting when palestinian is hurt by the IDF, no matter what is his political/religius belonging.
It’s not about success of failure. I’m only bringing the opposing opinion.
Is there a general Egyptian will to protect its territorial sovereignty from Israeli invasion or covert ops? You bet.
The Mossad isn’t doing joint training with the Egyptian military. It’s assassinating and kidnapping Egyptians and Palestinians on Egyptian soil possibly w the connivance of the Egyptian security services. If you can’t understand the circumstances please don’t bore us with trying to convey them to you, repeatedly.
It’s hilarious that a media source reports he was seeking medical attention for his wife, while you, being the authoritative source you are posit that he was planning an attack. Instead of nattering away and sounding like a hasbarist, why don’t you demand that your own Mossad publicly state what the charges are instead of hiding behind a gag order like the cowards they are.
Richard, I don’t understand your attack over Harel’s solid arguments. It appears that I argued, independently of Harel, that your interesting post contained inherited contradictions (as to do with the flawed use of “invasion”). The second issue is your attempt to speak for the Egyptian people. No need for that. They will make their voice on this matter and on other matters when and as they will – as they do now in their Plaza. Why do you say that “Mossad isn’t doing joint X with Egyptian (authority) Y”? These claims are not “to the point”. Your post is interesting (by means of being “yellow” – I certainly looked for information) but it conveys no just criticism for the action itself. Arresting is not kidnapping. It reads like you almost feel sad that probably Egyptian authorities/departments cooperated with Israel. This kind of cooperation is welcome (and the Israeli court will determine otherwise when relevant).
“What Egypt is getting for this is anyone’s guess. But it does make you wonder just how steadfast Egypt is in it professions of allegiance to the Palestinian cause.”
with that notion you are claiming that supporting palestinian terror (and terrorists) is equivalent to supporting the palestinians.
it means that you don’t understand – unlike many palestinian peace activists who understood this years ago – that terror is hurting the palestinian cause and making them suffer collectively.
How can the operation be a violation of Egyptian sovereignty if it’s done with Egypt’s consent? That doesn’t make sense to me. And if you say there may be a difference between the majority Egyptian opinion and the government, this also makes little sense as how else are countries supposed to communicate at all? There would never be any policies or communications between countries in any location if such activity needed to reach your standards.
Here’s a hypothetical question — If the Pakistani ISI covertly assists Taliban cells who conduct bombing attacks that slaughter Pakistani civilians, do you consider such operations to have “Pakistan’s consent”?
There is scarcely enough time in the universe to go down the list of egregious actions taken by intelligence services around the world — snuggly embedded in the deep cellars of government and hidden behind walls of state secrecy, often staffed by nationalist fanatics and elite zealots, having been foolishly given or having seized a carte blanche to use the vast resources of the public treasury to do whatever they like — that were not only contrary to the opinions, wishes and values of the majority of their countries’ population, but also blatantly illegal under national as well as international law.
Mr. Silverstein suggested the operation had the tacit understanding or perhaps connivance of Egyptian intelligence. That does not mean the consent of Egypt. And it does not justify violating the sovereignty of the Egyptian republic — a republic which the Egyptian intelligence officers by no means represent, and a sovereignty over which they do not have arbitrary rights.
@Moses:I never said “the government” consented. I said the intelligence apparatus may’ve consented. Precision is a virtue you don’t possess.
Palestinian local source (Gaza Now News) reported that the Israeli Mossad abducted a Palestinian citizen Wael Hassan Abu Raide, 32, from Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis refugee camp.
Reported in Times of Israel:
Palestinian sources in Gaza also rejected the possibility that the rocket fire was connected to a report published Sunday by Palestinian news agencies to the effect that Israeli forces abducted Hamas activist Mohammad Abu Rida two days ago in the Sinai desert. The actual report seems fantastical, but sources said that it would not have been the first time that Israel arrested Hamas members in the Sinai. They claimed that a year ago, another Hamas activist, Tahir Atwa, was arrested by Israeli intelligence while in the Sinai desert. He was eventually transferred to Israel and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Richard, thank you for your detailed reply. I would have agreed with your statements, were they grounded in facts. On my side, I said said that Abu Rida is POTENTIALLY X. He was arrested so that the Israeli courts will judge.
In Hebrew we say “Al Rosh Haganav Bo’er Ha’Kova”. Am I a hypocrite? Because you put words in my mouth against the operation of foreign intelligence operations inside Israel? You may apologize if you like as I am certainly in favor of collaboration of foreign security agencies inside Israel as long as they cooperate with Israeli authorities.
Your beautifully expressed response contains many logical flaws, not to say contradictions. I will not bother with arguing on each deceleration of yours but as I said Abu Rida was brought to trial not to jail. Moreover, putting my, ours, your, ethical standards on other nations’ political regimes (sorry for the English, I hope you understand what I mean) such as the UN is naive at best. There is nothing inherently ethical about Hague. I already mentioned Eichmann and your answer is almost ridiculous – to me and to many others, bringing Eichmann to trial was ethical. So, disagreeing on that point makes your other statements about ethics alien to me. We should work for peace and acknowledge collaborations among Arabs (especially in the middle east) and Zionists. I fear that bright people who speak in favor of democracy will fail to protect the minorities as was done before by the UN. As was done in previous wars. As now happenning in other middle east and African wars. The UN is not standards for ethics. Your suggestion that Israel cannot EFFECTIVELY establish its own courts, with operative authority is another danger for the minorities and the ones who seek liberal living. Support the “middle way” (Harambam) before being extremist against the ones who seek to derive understanding (in out case, between “official Egypt” and “official Israel”). Egypt is dynamic/fluid. Some of my family came from Cairo so don’t teach me about the Egyptian voice. Let them speak. Don’t judge who is the true Egyptian. In other words, be fair with your own statements.
I want to talk about potential murderers. Abu Rida is one such from Israeli perspective, that is, from our environment. The discussion on whether a soldier is a criminal is far from our discussion on ethical use of courts, police and other legal authorities.
I am happy that you brought this story to the people. But I can say that your claims against collaboration, invasion, arresting/kidnapping were easily refuted by me and the other people who reacted to this story before. I hope to read more of your potential news in the future. I also hope you will take some “middle way” opinion any not be stubborn on being “right” just because you already stated against collaboration. In fact, I am calling for peace as loud as I can and you are wrong for suggesting otherwise. Your accusations on me (e.g. calling me hypocrite) make me feel you are not a very peaceful or even peace-seeking person. I hope to be wrong at least about that.
The whole idea of bringing a potential murdered to trial is to present legal evidence. So you will have to patiently wait to hear the results of the trial. The whole reason of having a trial is to hear the claims of both sides and your request that I give proofs, once again, is ridiculous. If I am accused of murdering your brother would you have to present a proof immediately or otherwise I am released of my arrest/jail? Would you reconsider? …take any of your claims/accusations back?