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Palestine embassy expects official answer from Ukraine about disappearance of Palestinian

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March 31, 2011, 1:24 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
The Embassy of Palestine in Ukraine expects an official answer from the Ukrainian authorities on the situation related to the disappearance of Palestinian citizen Dirar Abu Sisi on Ukrainian territory. "We are waiting for official information, an official answer from the Ukrainian authorities in order to establish the causes that led to the sudden appearance of a Palestinian citizen in an Israeli prison," Palestinian Ambassador to Ukraine Mohammed Alasaad said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency in Kyiv on Thursday.

He also said that Ukraine's official institutions were doing everything possible to establish the true cause of the disappearance of a Palestinian citizen in Ukraine.

The ambassador expressed hope that the issue would be raised during the Ukrainian foreign minister's visit to Palestine.

Alasaad said that Palestine welcomed the position of Ukraine, which invited the Israeli ambassador to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to clarify the situation.

He described the incident involving the disappearance of the Palestinian as "a piracy operation on the territory of a friendly country."

While commenting on reports that Abu Sisi is allegedly a member of Hamas, the ambassador, citing people close to Abu Sisi, also said that he was not a member of any organization.

The ambassador said he was confident that the Ukrainian side had nothing to do with the disappearance of the Palestinian citizen.

"I am sure that any high-profile people in Ukraine are not involved in this... The SBU is not officially involved in this matter," the ambassador said.

At the same time, he suggested that "non high-ranking representatives" of the law enforcement agencies could be involved in the situation.

The ambassador also said that both the Palestinian and Ukrainian sides wanted to establish the truth.

Dirar Musa Abu Sisi, the director of a power plant in the Gaza Strip, took a Kharkiv-Kyiv train on February 18. Two hours later two men who produced IDs of special services officers took him off the train.

The Palestinian interior ministry sent an official inquiry into the disappearance of Abu Sisi to Ukraine's interior minister on February 25.

Abu Sisi is married to a Ukrainian and is a father of six. He spent 12 years in Gaza and has tried to gain Ukrainian citizenship.

A number of media reported on March 10 that Abu Sisi is in an Israeli prison. Israeli authorities officially confirmed this report on March 21.

Ukraine's police said that they did not detain Abu Sisi. The Ukrainian Prosecutor's General Office is probing the case.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry sent a request seeking to establish the whereabouts of the Palestinian to Interpol's office in Ukraine and a representative of Ukraine's Interior Ministry in Israel, but did not receive any answer.
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