Officials: Eliminated Gaza Engineer Was Working on Hamas Missile Program

YERUSHALAYIM -
Kassam rocket. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Fadi al-Batsh, the Hamas terrorist who was eliminated Shabbos morning in Malaysia, was a key member of Hamas’s rocket development team, Israeli officials were quoted by Channel Ten as saying. Al-Batsh had a doctorate in electrical engineering, but in recent years he worked in the electro-optics field, and had been working on improving Hamas’s rockets.  Al-Batsh was shot dead by two individuals who rode past him on motorcycles. Local reports said that he was hit by 10 bullets.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad blamed Israel for the elimination. “Clearly no one had an interest in murdering al-Batsh except those who are enemies of Palestine. We know that the Zionist entity has already attacked Arab and Palestinian scientists in the area of energy,” a top Hamas terrorist told Al-Jazeera news outlet. 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. “We do not rule out the possibility that the killers had connections to foreign intelligence services hostile to Palestine.”

Israel denied any involvement in the matter. Speaking Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the elimination was probably the result of internal rivalry in Hamas. “There is a tradition in these terror groups to blame these internal assassinations on Israel,” he told Reshet Bet. “We see these things happening every day. I imagine this is what happened here.”

MK Yoav Galant said in an interview Motzoei Shabbos that he had been unaware of any orders to eliminate al-Batsh. “I have no idea how this happened other than what I read in the news,” he said. “We certainly did not make any decisions about this.”