Kuala Lumpur: The family of a Palestinian professor and Hamas member accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of assassinating him.
In a statement from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the victim’s family said: “We accuse the Mossad of being behind the assassination.”
35-year-old Fadi Mohammad R. Albatsh was believed to be going to attend the dawn prayer when he was shot dead near his home on Saturday by two unidentified gunmen, police said.
Albatsh, who was married and a father of three was reported to be an electrical engineer and had lived in Kuala Lumpur for more than 10 years, was gunned down by two men on a motorbike who ambushed him and pumped more than 10 bullets into him, Xinhua news agency reported.
Hamas, the Palestinian political organisation, said in a statement that Al-Batsh, a research scientist specialising in energy issues was an important member of the organisation.
He was “loyal” member and known for “his scientific innovation as he has attended many international conferences on energy in Japan, the UK and Finland”.
Hamas did not directly accuse Israel, which carries out air strikes in retaliation for cross-border rocket fire by militants in Gaza, of killing him, but it called Batsh a “martyr” — a term used for people killed by Israeli forces.
Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Anwar H. Al Agha said Albatsh was a mosque imam and also a university lecturer, according to Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times.
Citing CCTV footage, the report also said the two gunmen, both wearing helmets, arrived at the scene and waited for the victim for some 20 minutes before carrying out the attack.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he learnt from police that Fadi was “an expert in electrical engineering and (building) rockets”, according to the New Straits Times.
“His killing could have some links with foreign intelligence agencies or he may also be considered a liability to nations unfriendly to Palestine,” Hamidi said, adding if necessary, Malaysian police may also seek the help of Interpol, Aseanpol and other related agencies.