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Thursday March 10, 2011 7:54 PM (EST+7)
Ukraine police search for missing Palestinian

Read more: electricity, power plant, blockade, war on Gaza, Gaza war, Dirar Abu Seesi, Mossad, kidnapping, Ukraine

KIEV, March 10 (Reuters) - Ukrainian police said on Thursday they were investigating the disappearance of a Palestinian engineer who, his family says, was abducted on a train in Ukraine and spirited away to Israel where he is in jail.

Dirar Abu Sisi, 42, disappeared last month under unknown circumstances and police are trying to establish where he is now, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry statement said.

According to his wife, the missing man may be abroad, it said. The Interior Ministry is taking steps to establish his location.

Israeli officials declined to comment, citing a court-issued gag order. But an official for an Israeli human rights group said Abu Sisi was being held at a prison in southern Israel and has been in Israeli custody since Feb. 19.

Abu Sisi is one of the managers of the main power plant in Hamas-ruled Gaza, but was not otherwise known to have any political affiliation with the Islamist group.

His sister, Suzanne Abu Sisi, 45, told Reuters her brother had been abducted from a train in Ukraine last month, then transferred to an Israeli prison in the town of Ashkelon.

Friends there told us Dirar had been seized by six people who had abducted him from the train en route between Kharkhov and Kiev, she told Reuters.

We know now that he is in prison in Israel, so they were the ones who abducted him. We do not know why they did it, she said.

The sister, who lives in Gaza, said her brother had gone to Ukraine with his Ukrainian wife and six children to apply for citizenship there.

The engineer's wife has since filed a complaint with Ukrainian authorities, she said, and he has been assigned an Israeli lawyer who, under the gag order, is barred from speaking to reporters.

A Hamas source confirmed they had information Abu Sisi had been detained by Israel. The Palestinian embassy in Ukraine declined to comment on the matter.

(Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Robert Woodward)






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