Malaysia Reveals New Details on al-Batsh Elimination

YERUSHALAYIM -
Members of the Hamas honor guard carry the body of Palestinian scientist Fadi al-Batsh, who was assassinated in Malaysia, during a ceremony in the southern Gaza Strip on April 26. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Malaysian police said Saturday that they had found the weapons used to assassinate top Hamas terrorist Fadi al-Batsh last month in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital. In new details about the incident, Malaysia’s national Chief of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said that the two killers of al-Batsh had escaped to a neighboring country, and officials were determined to find them.

Harun did not name the country he believes the shooters of al-Batsh absconded to, but Yediot Acharonot quoted security sources as saying that Thailand is considered the most likely destination. According to Harun, the two suspects sped away from the scene of the shooting on motorcycles, but they were met a short distance away by a van, which took them and their bikes out of the country. The two were carrying passports of Serbia and Montenegro, he added.

Al-Batsh, an electrical engineer who was said to have helped Hamas with numerous projects relating to the terror group’s rocket, drone and missile programs, was shot dead by two individuals who rode past him on motorcycles on April 21st. Local reports said that he was hit by 10 bullets. Israel has denied involvement in the elimination, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman attributing it to “a settling of scores between Hamas terrorists.”

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have 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. 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. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the elimination was probably due to internal rivalries 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.”