The answer to this question may relate to the continuing mystery of who or what was attacked earlier this week in the Sudan in a possible Israeli action to interdict arms shipments from Iran to Gaza, including, again possibly, mustard and nerve gas. (I wrote about this yesterday on The Tatler.)
Debka has more details, several of which contradict yesterday’s details, but then that’s Debka. One of the targets of the attack may or may not have been Abdul Latif Ashkar, who is supposed to have replaced Mahmoud al-Mahbouh as the chief Hamas arms trafficker. (Al-Mahbuouh, as some may recall, is the man who may or may not have been assassinated last year in Dubai by a Mossad hit squad). Gaza officials claim, however, that Latif Ashkar was not killed in the Sudan. Was it someone else? Something happened in the Sudan. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu isn’t confirming anything about anything, although he does say “Some see Israel’s hand in anything that happens, and it is not always true.”
Follow me so far?
Well, don’t worry. On to Abu Sisi and what he may have to do with all this. An engineer trained in rocketry in the Ukraine, apparently Abu S. is something of a Palestinian Wernher Von Braun. Although not nearly that successful (fortunately), Abu S. has evidently been able to build a reasonably advanced ballistics industry in Gaza.
But all of a sudden, he is on trial in Israel.
Monday’s indictment against Abu Sisi is also unique. First, it is longer than most indictments filed in Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigations and goes into extreme detail – such as the exact number of centimeters of armor the anti-tank missiles he developed can penetrate – as if the prosecution or the Shin Bet felt like it needed to justify the saga behind his arrest.
Second, it provides unprecedented insight into the Hamas military wing and how it has turned into a military one would expect to see in a country – not just with brigades, battalions and special forces, but also with an in-house defense industry.
How did Abu Sisi end up in an Israeli court? Another mystery, but talk is someone kidnapped him from a train in the Ukraine, although it is not clear when. Meanwhile, Hamas’ military/arms smuggling wing seems very vulnerable in the Sudan and elsewhere. Has someone been talking? Is it Abu Sisi? I guess we’ll have to wait for the Wikileaks. Or David Cornwell’s next book.
BTW, wasn’t it an anti-tank missile from Gaza that just hit the school bus in the Negev, critically injuring a 16-year old Israeli?