Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has vowed to take revenge against Israel for the assassination in Malaysia of engineer Fadi al-Batsh.
Al-Batsch, a 35-year-old married man with three children, was “assassinated by the hand of treachery” on Saturday morning at the entrance to a mosque in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Hamas announced.
Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh accused Israel’s international intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out the assassination of “young Palestinian scholar Dr Fadi al-Batch” at dawn.
“We blame the Israeli Mossad of carrying out the assassination of Dr Fadi al-Batch,” Haniyeh said in a statement on the terror group’s website. “The timing of the assassination of the scholar is intended, but the Palestinian people will remain resilient. We dispatched a senior delegation to hold meetings with the Malaysian officials and follow up closely the details of the crime.”
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh: Timing of the assassination of the Palestinian Engineer Dr Fadi al-Batch is intended, but the Palestinian people will remain resilient!#FadiAlBatsh#فادي_البطش pic.twitter.com/8HjEnbqcuY
— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) April 21, 2018
One of two suspects driving by on a high-powered motorcycle “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 Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim told Malaysia’s state-run Bernama news agency. Closed-circuit television footage showed the assassins had waited for him for nearly 20 minutes prior to the hit.
The family of the engineer also issued a statement of their own: “We accuse the Israeli Mossad for the assassination of our son, the energy researcher. Fadi was meant to fly on Sunday to Turkey, to chair an international conference on energy.”
Turkey is an international base of operations for the Hamas terrorist organization, although some of the group’s top officials have left the country after pressure from world leaders.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the assailants appeared to be “white men” driving a powerful BMW 1100cc motorcycle, and may have been Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency, Reuters reported.
“I am saddened by all this and according to police information, the victim had been staying here for 10 years, and was an expert in electrical engineering and [building] rockets,” Hamidi said, according to the New Straits Times. “His killing could have some links with foreign intelligence agencies, or he may also be considered a liability for nations that are ‘unfriendly’ to Palestine.”
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 was a cousin to Khaled al-Batsch, a senior officer in the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, allied with Hamas, who also accused the Mossad of killing his cousin.
Hebrew-language media reported he was an expert on rocket and drone accuracy who had recently published material on drone development and control.
Israel has declined to comment.