GAZA CITY: The family of a Palestinian professor and Hamas member accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency on Saturday of killing him on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian police said Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, was killed in a drive-by motorcycle shooting as he headed on foot to take part in dawn Muslim prayers on Saturday.
In a statement from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, his family said: “We accuse the Mossad of being behind the assassination.”
The Islamist Palestinian movement said Batsh, a research scientist specialising in energy issues, was one of its members.
Hamas did not accuse Israel of killing him but called Batsh a “martyr” — a word it usually uses for people killed by Israeli forces.
Contacted by AFP, an Israeli official refused to comment.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said one of two suspects on a high-powered motorcycle “fired 10 shots, four of which hit the lecturer in the head and body. He died on the spot.”
“The police also found two empty bullet shells there,” the police chief said, according to Malaysia’s state-run Bernama news agency.
The police chief said that footage from closed-circuit television cameras near the scene of the shooting showed that two assailants waited for around 20 minutes in the area before attacking.
“We believe the lecturer was their target because two other individuals walked by the place earlier unharmed. We will view the recordings of all the CCTV in the area to identify the suspects and get the registration number of the motorcycle,” he said.
The Batsh family urged Malaysian authorities to investigate his murder and “arrest those responsible for killing him before they flee”. They also asked for the return of his body to his hometown of Jabalya in the Gaza Strip.
The Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but has never confirmed such operations.
Hamas has accused Mossad of assassinating one of its drone experts — Mohamed Zouari — in Tunisia in 2016, and the spy agency is also believed to have been behind the 2010 murder of top Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai hotel.