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Hamas arrests suspect in academic’s killing in Malaysia

January 9, 2022 at 5:14 pm

Members of the Palestinian Hamas security forces carry a coffin containing the body of Palestinian scientist Fadi al-Batsh, assassinated in Malaysia, in the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on 26 April 2018, after his body was returned to his homeland ahead of his funeral [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]

A suspect was arrested in connection with the 2018 killing of a Palestinian academic in Malaysia, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said on Sunday, Anadolu reports.

In April 2018, Fadi al-Batsh, a research engineer thought to be linked to Hamas, was gunned down near his home in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, by two gunmen who fled the scene.

While his family has accused Israeli spy agency Mossad of having carried out the assassination, then-Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied Israel’s involvement in the killing.

Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzom told a press conference in Gaza City that the suspect had confessed that he was recruited by Mossad.

Israeli media had described al-Batsh as “a Hamas engineer and an expert in drone-making”, hinting at the possibility that the Mossad had played a role in his death.

Israel is widely believed to have killed numerous Palestinian activists in the past, many of them overseas.

In 1997, Mossad agents tried — and failed — to kill Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal in Jordan by spraying poison into his ear.

Mossad is also believed to have been behind the assassination in 2010 of top Hamas commander Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai hotel.

Israel has never confirmed or denied its involvement in Mabhuh’s murder.

READ: Malaysia steps up security measures to protect Palestinians after Israel threats