The Palestinian engineer who was assassinated in Malaysia last week was buried in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, despite Israel’s efforts to prevent the transfer of his body into the enclave for the event.
The body of Fadi al-Batsh, whom The New York Times and other foreign media outlets have said was killed by Mossad agents, was brought to Gaza via Egypt. His family and delegates from all the Palestinian factions came to the Rafah crossing to take part in the funeral procession to the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh attended Batsh's funeral. "The blood of the fallen is the fuel on the path to the victory of the Palestinian people," he said, vowing to "cut off the filthy hands that assassinated Batsh."
Earlier Thursday, Egypt allowed the transfer of Batsh’s body into Gaza for the burial.
Batsh’s family, Hezbollah and senior Palestinian officials have blamed Israel for his death.
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According to Hannah Beech and Ronen Bergman in The New York Times, “That claim has been confirmed by Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials, who said the killing was part of a broader operation ordered by the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, to dismantle a Hamas project that sends Gaza’s most promising scientists and engineers overseas to gather know-how and weaponry to fight Israel.”
According to The Times report, Batsh may have been involved in negotiating North Korean arms deals through Malaysia.