Hamas threatens Israel over engineer's death

At funeral of Hamas engineer who was murdered in Malaysia, Ismail Haniyeh vows to avenge his death.

Dalit Halevi ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

The body of Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batsh, who was assassinated in Malaysia, was returned to Gaza on Thursday, Hamas said.

Batsh was said to be a rocket-making expert for the terrorist group. He was shot dead in a hail of bullets by motorbike-riding attackers as he walked to a Kuala Lumpur mosque for dawn prayers Saturday morning.

Batsh's body was taken across the border between Gaza and Egypt on Thursday ahead of his funeral.

Hamas blames Israel's Mossad agency for Batsh's death. Israel has not confirmed a connection to the killing. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested on Sunday that the engineer was killed as part of a “settling of accounts” between competing terror factions.

During Batsh's funeral in Jabalya on Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh threatened to retaliate for his death.

Haniyeh boasted said that the engineer's body had been transferred to Gaza despite opposition from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

He added that "Fadi al-Batsh always wished to die in the path of Allah" and stresed that "the hands and arms sent to harm the scientist will be cut off."

"Pride to Palestine, to Gaza and to Jabalya, which brought people like the martyr Fadi al-Batsh, because the blood of the martyrs is fuel for victory and liberation," said Haniyeh.

As Batsh's body was transferred to Gaza through the Rafah crossing, senior Hamas member Khalil al-Hayya said that the group has a score to settle with Israel on the issue, and added, "The day of punishment will surely come."