Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Dirar Abu Seesi

Dirar Abu Seesi

Sector : Science, Scientists

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Ukraine
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1969
  • Age: 46
  • Curriculum vitae :


Dirar Abu Seesi or: Abu Sisi (born in 1969 in Jordan) is the Deputy Engineer for the Gaza Strip's sole electrical plant, which provides 25% of Gaza's power and, according to Israel, also a Hamas weapons engineer. In February 2011, he traveled to Ukraine, his wife's native country, to apply for citizenship, after coming to believe that Gaza was no longer a safe place to raise his six children. He disappeared in Poltava on February 19, and later turned up in an Israeli prison. On April 4th, he was indicted for his alleged aid to Hamas.

On the evening of February 18th, after formally filing the papers for citizenship, Abu Seesi was traveling by train to the Kiev airport for a reunion with his brother Yussef, who was residing in the Netherlands and whom he hadn’t seen in 15 years. Just outside the city of Poltava, two men, whom the family believes were Ukrainian security agents, entered the train and removed Dirar. After that, he disappeared. His wife Veronika, who was in Ukraine at the time as well, didn’t hear from him for a week. During that period of silence, she summoned the Ukrainian press and stated that the Mossad had kidnapped him. On February 27th, the Palestinian Interior Ministry demanded that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry disclose the reasons for his disappearance.

Dalia Kerstein, executive director of the Israeli human rights NGO, HaMoked, confirmed that the Gazan engineer was in an Israeli prison. Kerstein identified Abu Seesi’s Israeli attorney Michal Orkabi, who confirmed that she represented him, but she could provide no further information due to a security gag order imposed by the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court preventing her from speaking about the case. On March 20th, the gag order was partially lifted with Israel admitting it was holding Abu Seesi.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees became involved in the case when it determined that Abu Seesi was classified as a refugee. An Associated Press article revealed that the UNHCR's Ukrainian representative asked Ukraine to account for any role its own officials may have played in the disappearance.

Veronika Abu Seesi claims that Israel kidnapped him because he was the “brain of the power system” and that he had rebuilt it himself after it was destroyed during Operation Cast Lead in 2009. The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post both report that Abu Seesi had devised a technique enabling the plant to rely solely on diesel fuel supplied by Egypt that could fully power the plant. This would enable it to bypass Israel as its sole source of fuel to run the plant. The German weekly Der Spiegel indicated that Abu Seesi's abduction was owing to information he had in relation to missing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is being held by Palestinian militants in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a live interview with YouTube World View and Channel Two News, said that Abu Seesi is a Hamas man being held in Israel, and he disclosed valuable information. Israeli officials were insinuating earlier that Abu Seesi was involved in weaponry for Hamas.

On April 4, 2011, Abu Seesi was indicted in a court in Beer Sheva, charged with "membership in a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit a crime, and the production of illegal weaponry, assistance to an illegal organization and other various crimes". According to the indictment, Abu Seesi was the central developer of the Qassam rocket among other rockets and tank missiles, was responsible for upgrading older rockets for Hamas and commander of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Military Academy.


Achievements and Awards

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