Family says Palestinian gunned down by Mossad agents in Malaysia

Relatives of Fadi al-Batash, who was shot to death in Malaysia, mourn outside his family house in the northern Gaza Strip, April 21, 2018. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The death of a Palestinian engineer here early today has been described as an assassination by Israeli agents in Malaysia, with his family demanding Malaysian authorities to investigate the murder.

Fadi al-Batash.

Fadi al-Batash, 35, was shot more than 10 times at close range by two unidentified men on a motorcycle in Gombak at about 6am today.

Israeli daily Haaretz, citing Palestinian news sources, quoted a senior leader of Palestinian group Islamic Jihad related to Batash, Khaled al-Batash, who accused Israeli intelligence agency Mossad of being behind the assassination.

The family said Batash, who is married and has three children, was supposed to attend an energy conference on Sunday.

Haaretz also reported that Batash was a member of resistance group Hamas, and was a former resident of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. Quoting Palestinian sources, it said Batash “was a revered engineer in electrical engineering and energy production”.

Earlier today, police told Bernama that the two assailants had waited for about 20 minutes for Batash outside his condominium, before they ambushed him as he was walking to a surau to perform the dawn prayer.

It is understood that he frequently led prayers at a mosque in the city during Ramadan, and had been leading night prayers during Ramadan since 2014, courtesy of local welfare organisation Humanitarian Care Malaysia (MyCARE).

Meanwhile, PAS has urged the government to investigate claims that Mossad agents had infiltrated Malaysia to carry out assassination on Palestinian activists.

“It has been a practice by Mossad to carry out assassination of Muslim leaders around the world including in the West. We believe this incident is also related to that and there is a mastermind behind it,” said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

“The government must show courage and not be pressured,” he said.

Palestinian lecturer shot dead on way to prayers