Liberman: We Asked Egypt to Prevent Return of Hamas Engineer’s Body to Gaza

YERUSHALYIM -
Masked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade, a military wing of Hamas, stand guard as relatives receive condolences at the house of engineer Fadi al-Batsh, in Jebaliya, Gaza. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Fadi al-Batsh, the Hamas terrorist who was eliminated in Malaysia over the weekend, will not be buried in Gaza, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday. Responding to demands by the family of al-Batsh in Gaza that the terrorist’s remains be sent to them for burial, Liberman said that “we do not allow the shipping of bodies to Gaza. We have also asked Egypt not to allow the body to be sent to Gaza via the Rafiach crossing.”

Two men on a motorcycle fired 10 shots at Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, killing him on the spot, the city’s police chief, Mazlan Lazim, said. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that al-Batsh was a “victim of a group that fights Palestine,” and that an investigation had been opened into the incident. Israel has denied involvement in the elimination, with Liberman attributing it to “a settling of scores between Hamas terrorists.”

Motzoei Shabbos, Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded that al-Batsh’s body not be allowed into Gaza for burial – unless Hamas releases the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oren Shaul, as well as missing Israeli Avram Mengistu.

The family of missing IDF soldier Hadar Goldin also appealed to the government to prevent the entry of Al-Batsh’s remains into Gaza. “They set up a mourning tent in Gaza, a sure sign that Hamas expects to conduct a burial in Gaza. A burial in Gaza would be a major media event. This must be stopped as long as Hamas continues to hold the remains of IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens, in contravention of international law. We have made clear to all those involved that al-Batsh must not be brought to Gaza for burial. We are convinced that Israel must also ask Egypt not to allow the transfer of the body to Gaza via the Rafiach crossing.”