Murder of Hamas engineer in Malaysia blamed on Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The family of a Palestinian electrical engineer and Hamas member who was killed over the weekend at close range in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, accused Israel of being behind the murder.

As is its custom, Israel neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the murder.

Fadi al-Batash, who was born in Gaza, was an expert on rocket and drone accuracy. Batash, 35, was killed early Saturday in a drive-by motorcycle shooting as he walked to early morning prayers

“We accuse the Mossad of being behind the assassination,” his family said in a statement.

The Hamas terror group claimed Batash as a “loyal” member and a “scientist of Palestine’s youth scholars.” The group said he had made “important contributions.”

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested on Sunday in a public radio interview that the killing was a “settling of scores among terrorist organizations, among terrorists, among various factions.”

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that suspicions are being investigated that “foreign agents” were involved in the hit.

The engineer’s body was set to be taken to Gaza to be buried through Egypt, though Israel called on Egypt to not let the body in. Egypt reportedly delayed the entrance by one to two days. A mourning tent already has been erected in Gaza, according to reports.

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