Suspects in Palestinian killing still in Malaysia, say cops

Pic Bernama

Pic Bernama

Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group has described the victim, Fadi al-Batsh, as a "commander" in its military wing and accused Israel of being behind Saturday's shooting.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the suspects in the killing, who fled the scene, were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency, state news agency Bernama reported.

Hamas initially stopped short of blaming Israel, saying only that al-Batsh had been "assassinated by the hand of treachery".

Though Israel's request was communicated to Egypt, Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman acknowledged that it could not prevent the passage of bodies through the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza if approved by Cairo. He said Egypt had agreed to allow the body to be returned through its border with Gaza.

"He filled most of his time with learning new things", said Mr Ramy, who also lives in Malaysia.

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"We didn't get any feeling that he was threatened".

"It was a brutal attack. we want them to be taken to court and given the heaviest punishment", he said.

Hamas in an earlier statement said the Palestinian engineer was a "loyal" member and a "scientist of Palestine's youth scholars".

Al-Batsh specialised in electrical and electronic engineering and worked at a Malaysian university.

Malaysian police yesterday released computer generated photographs of two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian man here, adding that alerts have been put out for them at all the country's exit points.

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The sketches distributed to all police stations and border patrols nationwide showed bearded, light-skinned men of European or Middle Eastern heritage, investigators said.

Israel has a long history of being accused of targeting wanted Palestinian militants in daring overseas operations and has been linked to other assassinations as well, though it has rarely publicly acknowledged them.

Israel has faced worldwide condemnation for its response to Palestinian demonstrations at the border.

The Palestinians who are sent to Malaysia to study are meant to operate under cover when they return to the West Bank where they will deliver messages and transfer funds to Hamas in Gaza.

Middle East analyst Amotz Asa-el told WIN that the Islamic fanaticism in Malaysia is more extreme than that of most Arab countries.

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