Palestinian lecturer shot dead in Malaysia: authorities

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 22, 2018

Speaking at al-Batsh's mourning tent, Haniyeh officially blamed Israel for the shooting and implied that Hamas' terrorist war on Israel will now expand.

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh accused Israel's global intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out the assassination of "young Palestinian scholar Dr Fadi al-Batch" at dawn.

"The lecturer.is believed to have become a liability for a country hostile to Palestine", he said.

Hamas says the protests are aimed at breaking a crippling border blockade that was imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Islamic militant group overran Gaza in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Hebrew-language media reported he was an expert on rocket and drone accuracy who had recently published material on drone development and control.

"The suspect fired 10 shots, four of which hit the lecturer in the head and body. He died on the spot". "The police also found two empty bullet shells there", Kuala Lumpur Police chief Mazlan Lazim told reporters.

"We believe the lecturer was their target because two other individuals walked by the place earlier unharmed".

A Gaza-born electrical engineer from Jabalya, al-Batsch completed his PhD in Malaysia and worked as a lecturer in the Malaysian capital - but the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas described him on a banner at the entrance of a mourning tent in Jabalya as a member and "commander" with 10 masked and uniformed fighters greeting mourners outside the tent in formation, as is typical for senior commanders.

He said Malaysian police would request the help of Interpol to track down the suspects, believed to be European nationals. "We will view the recordings of all the CCTV in the area", he said. He told local media that initial investigations showed the assailants were "white men" driving a powerful BMW 1100cc motorbike.

Malaysia's deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government was looking into the possibility of the involvement of "foreign agents" in his killing.

Besides his Hamas affiliation, Batsh was a cousin of Khaled al-Batsh, a senior official in the Islamic Jihad terror group, who also accused the Mossad of the assassination, without providing evidence.

Batsh was a lecturer at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, specializing in power engineering, according to the university. He had lived there with his family for the past eight years and was an imam at a local mosque. His official biography said his research interests included power converters, power quality and renewable energy.

The Batsh family urged Malaysian authorities to investigate Dr Batsh's murder and "arrest those responsible for killing him before they flee".

The Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but has never confirmed such operations.

Hamas has accused Mossad of assassinating one of its drone experts - Mohamed Zouari - in Tunisia in 2016, and the spy agency is also believed to have been behind the 2010 murder of top Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai hotel.

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