Last month a Palestinian man named Wael Abu Reda went missing in Egypt. He was traveling with his wife when he received a phone call; someone requested his presence in the Sinai Desert. He went and did not return. A month later, a few details surfaced. It turns out Abu Reda has been detained in Israel for “security crimes,” according to the Associated Press. His brother Mansour Abu Reda was the first to learn of his whereabouts:
“Israel is responsible for his life, and human rights groups must act to secure his release,” he said. “We don’t know why they took him, and Egyptian security must tell us how they kidnapped him from Egypt.”
Mansour Abu Reda said his brother was in Egypt to “obtain Egyptian citizenship and to get medical treatment for his son.”
Because of a gag order that was only partly lifted, the details are quite murky. What we do know is that Abu Reda was detained three weeks ago by Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, and the police. Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court extended the gag for 10 days.
The story, Haaretz reports, is similar to that of Dirar Abu Sisi, a Palestinian engineer who disappeared in 2011. It came out that Abu Sisi was detained in Israel, “accused of playing a central role in Hamas’ missile and rocket development program.”
Abu Sisi’s family claimed he was kidnapped by the Mossad from a Ukrainian sleeper train by six men who apprehended him during an overnight journey. The UN refugee agency UNHCR echoed those accusations. An indictment that was eventually served against him did not mention the circumstances in which he made his way to Israel. Those details were put under a gag order.
Abu Sisi’s family denies the charges that he was in Hamas, the Associated Press reports.