- U.S. Warplane Goes Down in Libya As Air Campaign Enters Fourth Day
- International Community Divided On Libya Intervention, Obama Defends Use of Force
- Four Children Killed As Pro-Gaddafi Forces Continue Attacks
- Obama Criticized For Failing to Consult Congress on Libya Attacks
- Over a Dozen Journalists Unaccounted For in Libya
- Storage PooliIn Japan Nuclear Facility Nears Boiling Point
- NRC Extends Vermont Nuclear Plant License By 20 Years
- Earthquake-Prone Chile Signs Nuclear Plant Agreement With U.S.
- Obama Praises Chilean History Of Transition, No Apology For U.S.-Backed Dictatorship
- Israel Launches Attacks On Gaza Injuring 20, Including 7 Children
- U.N. Investigator Accuses Israel of “Ethnic Cleansing”
- Former Israeli President to Serve Seven Years Following Rape Conviction
- Ivory Coast: Thousands Offer To Join Army As Fears Of Civil War Grow
- Court OKs to Challenge Bush-Era Warrantless Wiretapping Amendment
- First Deepwater Oil Exploration Project Approved Since BP Spill
- FBI Ordered to Preserve Evidence In Judi Bari Bombing Case
A lawyer for the Palestine Center for Human Rights visited Dirar Abu Sisi in his cell in Shikma Prison outside Ashkelon and received the most detailed account yet of his kidnapping in Ukraine and rendition to Israel. The particulars as he recounts them are almost precisely as I portrayed them here in this blog. What’s remarkable to me was that even though I didn’t know some of them, I was able to surmise and infer what is likely to have happened based on information I already knew or hints that had been offered by other sources.
The Israeli press is now reporting the story widely (no one crediting my work in breaking the story of course). The gag will fall in a matter of time. What we still don’t know though is why Israel wanted Dirar in the first place and why he was so important they went to all that trouble knowing that eventually their rendition crime would be exposed. I suppose they believe that since Cheney and Bush got away with it that they could too. But perhaps we’ll be able to make them pay a small price for their egregious violations of international law.
Here is the press release of PCHR. Though the statement makes a blanket claim that the Mossad was the sole actor in his rendition, it becomes clear in the course of this account that it is likely the Ukrainian military or security agencies colluded as well:
…Abu Sisi told the PCHR lawyer that on 19 February 2011 he was travelling by train from Kharkov to Kiev to meet with his brother Yousef who was coming from the Netherlands. Abu Sisi stated that three persons, two in military uniforms, entered his room on the train. They asked him to show his passport but he refused. Then they threatened him and forcefully took his passport. They forced him to get off the train at the nearby station of Poltava. At this time he was handcuffed and hooded. He was transported in a car to Kiev. Once in Kiev he was held in an apartment where there were another six persons who introduced themselves to be members of the Mossad. Abu Sisi said that the Mossad members immediately questioned him and then flew him by plane. The flight lasted between four and five hours before landing in a place unknown to him. Approximately thirty minutes later, they took off again and the flight lasted for approximately one hour. Upon landing Abu Sisi found himself in Israel. Abu Sisi told the PCHR lawyer that he was denied contact with a lawyer for fourteen days. This denial was extended for another eleven days. He said that he was placed under intensive interrogations and that he was denied his legal rights.
It should be noted that the Israeli security authorities imposed a media blackout regarding the kidnapping of Abu Sisi and prevented lawyers from visiting him to check on his health and provide legal assistance during the second period.
After knowing the details from Abu Sisi, PCHR has doubts about whether there was collusion from international parties in the kidnapping. Especially as Abu Sisi was not legally arrested by Ukrainian authorities and he did not have any appearances in domestic courts. PCHR has concerns over the deterioration of Abu Sisi’s health and notes that he has cholelithiasis and he takes blood thinning medicines. He is experiencing serious psychological problems after going into long and continued investigation sessions. PCHR calls for the immediate release of Abu Sisi.
All of which means the following: in addition to Israel and the Ukraine colluding in this major violation of international law, the territory of a third country was also involved as the rendition flight landed in a country approximately a one hour flight from Israel. Readers may have additional ideas, but the countries I can think of that might be likely to have participated and are in that one hour zone would be Turkey (if the military cooperated without the knownledge of the political echelon), Cyprus or Bulgaria (possibly). I doubt it could be a former Soviet Republic like Georgia, Armenia or Azerbijian as it would’ve had to have overflown enemy nations like Syria or Iraq.
In addition, this means that the Mossad either brought their own plane flown into a Ukrainian airport or leased one in Ukraine. It’s more likely the former than the latter, which would mean an extraordinary level either of direct cooperation with Ukrainian authorities or secrecy hiding the identity of the plane.
Abusisi was denied contact with an attorney for a total of 24 days, a clear violation of his rights.
Though Veronika Abusisi, Dirar’s wife makes no direct claims of torture, this statement published four days ago at the Facebook group, Free Dirar, which I created and invite you to join, does give one grounds for concern:
Mikhal Dansiger [Dirar’s former lawyer] told me in a telephone conversation today that Dirar saw a doctor today and that his health condition is better. Dirar would never go to a doctor on his own to “make …sure” that he is in good condition. Before we lost our sense of equanimity [before the arrest], my husband never complained about anything at all, all his tests were normal. He always paid close attention to his health. But now after the “adventure” and “warm” conversation with “mild-mannered” Israeli secret service [interrogators], my spouse has heart problems, increased arterial heart pressure, stomach and gall bladder problems, kidney stone illness.
My love for my kids’ homeland [Gaza], my spouse, is unconditional.
- Obama Getting Tough on Israel or Just More Words? Yesterday, the N.Y. Times published one of those tea leaf…
- Obama Tells Mubarak to Go in All But Words Barack Obama has a lot of faults, but sometimes at…
- Hillary Clinton’s Major Global Democracy Address Will Neglect Arrest and Torture of Palestinian Activist, Ameer Makhoul Hillary Clinton will make a major address in the ancient…
Israeli warplanes targeted sites across the Gaza Strip late March 21, injuring at least 17 people including seven children, witnesses and medics said. Ten people arrived at Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and seven others were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in the north. An airstrike in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City caused considerable damage but no injuries, residents said. An Israeli military spokesman said that the attack targeted two “terror tunnels, two weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, and two additional terror activities sites.” The official emphasized that the attack came in response to the barrage of projectiles fired toward Israeli territory over the past week, including 50 on March 19 for which Hamas claimed responsibility. Among the targets were a police post and a training facility of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, which a day earlier offered to stop cross-border fire into Israel if the Israelis halted attacks on Gaza.
Sarah Palin ‘reading Torah’ (an inside joke) at the Wall with Rabbi Rabinovitz and MK Danny Danon
Going back a few decades there used to be a hilarious parody of the Maine downeaster culture offered by a character named Bert (properly pronounced “Buht”), whose chief response to outliers lost in Maine was: “Ya can’t get there from heya.” Well, when Sarah Palin asked how to get to Bethlehem, that’s apparently something like what she heard from the IDF.
The once and future candidate is making the requisite Holy Land pilgrimage apparently demanded of all right-wing evangelical presidential candidates. But today, she brought up short and learned a lesson in both Israeli geography and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today when she came within yards of an IDF military checkpoint before entering the city of Bethlehem on her tour of Christian holy places. Perhaps her dimwitted staff didn’t realize that Bethlehem isn’t inside Israel proper and that they’d have to cross into the Occupied West Bank to visit the birthplace of Jesus. I’m a little unclear why they did an abrupt u-turn when they came to the military checkpoint. Did they think Jewish voters might think worse of her for visiting Occupied Territory without also visiting settlements?
Ah, this picture with young far-right Likud MK Danny Danon warms the cockles of my pro-Israel heart, doesn’t it yours? Did you notice in the picture Sarah’s not wearing a shytel? You’d think she would. It would make her fit in perfectly.
- Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty How does Sarah Palin demean Jewish suffering? Let me count…
- Recruiting Brecht to Whitewash Occupation Poor Bertolt Brecht. He’s rolling over in his grave after…
- Settlers: ‘Finish the Occupation’ by Any Means Necessary If the political slogan”by any means necessary” hadn’t already been…