Malaysia said that “foreign agents” might be involved in the killing of a Palestinian engineer and member of Hamas at the entrance to a mosque in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday morning. The victim's family and Palestinians blamed Israel's Mossad for the assassination.
“There may be a connection to foreign secret services,” Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, specifying that the two men who allegedly killed Fadi al-Batsh were white.
Hamas announced that the Palestinian engineer was a member of the organization and Palestinian media reported accusations that the Mossad could be behind the assasination.
According to Palestinian news websites, Fadi al-Batsh, 35, was ambushed at the entrance to a mosque and shot at close range by two unidentified motorcyclists. Palestinian sources in Malaysia quoted the police chief as saying the unidentified assailants waited about 20 minutes for Batsh outside the mosque. They shot more than 10 bullets at Batsh. He sustained wounds to the head and upper body. The shooters fled the scene.
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Batsh's family, as well as an Islamic Jihad senior leader, Khaled al-Batash, accused Mossad of being behind the assassination, reported Palestinian news sources. They demanded that "Malaysian authorities conduct a comprehensive and rapid investigation to prevent the escape of the assassins." The family said that Batsh was supposed to fly to Turkey on Sunday for a science conference on energy. He is married and has three children.
According to the news agency SPA, which is affiliated with Hamas, Batsh, a former resident of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, worked in Malaysia in the past years as a lecturer at a private university and was the imam of a mosque in the city. Batsh also involved with Islamic organizations, including MyCARE.
Batsh was involved in energy field work and was a revered engineer in electrical engineering and energy production.
In December, aviation engineer and former Tunisair pilot Mohammed Zawahri was assassinated by highly skilled assassins in Sfax, Tunisia, reported local news outlets. Tunisian journalist Burhan Basis claimed on his Facebook page that the Mossad was behind the assassination.
According to Basis, Zawahri lived in several countries over the years and maintained close ties with Hamas. He added that Zawahri's work on drones was what led the Mossad to pursue him.
In 2015, the Shin Bet security service revealed that Hamas was training Palestinian students in Malaysia. After their training, the operatives are sent to set up military networks in the West Bank, act as messengers between the territories and foreign countries, and carry out secret transfers of funds to meet Hamas’ needs.