Tue06192018

LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

Palestinian Scholar Killed In Kuala Lumpur, Family Blames Mossad

A Palestinian scholar has been shot dead by two assailants in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers, local police said.

Fadi al-Batsh, a 35-year-old Palestinian academic and member of Hamas, was instantly killed by the unknown gunmen in a residential neighbourhood of the capital on Saturday.

Al-Batsh's father told Al Jazeera that he accuses Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, of being behind his son's killing and called on the Malaysian authorities to look into who carried out the "assassination" as soon as possible.

Hazem Qassem, spokesperson for the Hamas movement, the governing party in the Gaza Strip, confirmed to Al Jazeera that al-Batsh was a member of the Hamas organisation.

In a statement on Twitter, Hamas described al-Batsh as a "young Palestinian scholar" from Jabalia in the Gaza Strip. It called al-Batsh a "martyr" and said he was a "distinguished scientist who has widely contributed to the energy sector".

Palestinian websites identified al-Batsh as a relative of a senior official in the Gaza branch of the Islamic Jihad movement.

According to police chief Datuk Seri Mansor Lazim, the two attackers had waited for al-Batsh in front of a residential building in Setapak district for almost 20 minutes, and fired at least 10 bullets, four of which instantly killed him.

Al-Batsh was shot in the "body and head", the police said, adding that they are investigating all angles including "terrorism".

Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Anwar H al-Agha was quoted by the New Straits Times newspaper as saying the victim was a second imam at his mosque. He had been reportedly living in Malaysia for 10 years.

Agha said Imam Fadi was supposed to have left for a conference in Turkey on Saturday. He was survived by his wife and three children.

-Al Jazeera