Palestinian engineer charged with upgrading Hamas missiles

Dirar Abu Asisi, the Gazan Palestinian who claims to have been abducted by Israel's secret service from the Ukraine, was charged before the Beersheba district court Monday, April 4, on 15 terror-related counts, including upgrading the range and capabilities of thousands of Grad and Qassam rockets launched from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities in recent years as well as anti-tank missiles. Abu Asisi was also identified as the commander of the military academy run by Hamas' armed wing, Ezz e-din al-Qassam, where he was nicknamed Dr. Rocket.

He obtained his PhD degree from the Ukrainian military engineering academy where he specialized in missile control systems and upgrading the ranges of Grad and Qassam missiles.
He is therefore charged with the attempted murder of thousands of Israelis, membership of a terrorist organization, providing services to an illegal organization, conspiracy to commit a crime and illegal weapons manufacture.  

The accused Palestinian engineer's cover job as chief engineer of the Gaza electricity network is alleged to have concealed his clandestine functions for the Hamas terrorist organization and his close ties with Hamas's military leaders, Ahmad Jabari and Muhammad Deif.

His family and defense council say he was abducted from a train in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 19 to extract information about Gilead Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive and incommunicado by Hamas for almost five years. Hamas spokesmen in Gaza say he is innocent.  

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