The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah accused Israel on Monday night of being behind the assassination of Hamas engineer, Fadi al-Batsh, who was killed last week in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, saying that "some Lebanese minds have been killed under mysterious circumstances over the past few weeks and months around the world."
To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
In a public speech delivered ahead of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah condemned the "Israeli assassination" of the Palestinian scientist, saying that "every mind that has knowledge, expertise and experience is the target of an assassination, or any mind in the world that could someday be part of our nation, they [Israel] pursue the Arab scientist and academic – from Iran to Tunisia, and Malaysia."
The photos of four scientists who were allegedly killed under mysterious circumstances, including two Lebanese and two Palestinians, were published on social networks in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. They were Salim Murad, a nuclear physics expert whose body was found in February; Hassan Ali Hir al-Din, an economist who claimed Jewish domination of the world economy; Iman Arza, a chemist who was murdered under mysterious circumstances, and claimed to have been the victim of extortion by an Israeli officer; and Batsh, the Palestinian engineer who was killed last week in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2015, the Shin Bet security service revealed that Hamas was training Palestinian students in Malaysia. According to Shin Bet, after the Hamas recruits' training, the operatives are then sent back to the West Bank to set up military networks, act as messengers between the territories and foreign countries, and carry out secret transfers of funds to meet Hamas’ needs.
- Hamas blames Israel for hit on Palestinian engineer: The war has shifted abroad
- Hamas-linked Tunisian drone expert assassinated
- Hamas engineer murdered in Malaysia: gov’t accuses 'foreign agents'
In January, Nasrallah blamed Israel for an attempted hit on Hamas official Mohammed Hamdan in southern Lebanon. Israeli defense officials say that Hamas leaders traveling to Lebanon in recent years are trying to set up a network of missiles to be used against Israel when fighting breaks out again.