KUALA LUMPUR: Palestine’s Hamas militant wing has accused Israel of being behind the killing of lecturer Dr Fadi al-Batsh here.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.
Hamas initially stopped short of blaming Israel, saying only that he had been “assassinated by the hand of treachery”.
But it later accused Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency of killing him and threatened retaliation.
Hamas is suggesting that Dr Fadi was one of its commanders, AP reported.
It said Dr Fadi, a research scientist specialising in energy issues, was one of its members.
The armed wing of Hamas has opened a mourning house in Gaza on Saturday.
A banner at the entrance of the tent described Dr Fadi as a member of the military wing and “a commander”.
Ten masked militants in camouflage uniforms stood in a line outside the tent in Jabalia, the slain man’s hometown, to greet mourners.
Israel defence minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed claims the country’s spy agency was behind the assassination of Dr Fadi, suggesting instead that his killing was a “settling of accounts”.
He accused Dr Fadi of being “involved in rocket production”.
Dr Fadi, 35, was shot dead while walking to the mosque from his condominium near Jalan Meranti in Setapak on Saturday.
Two men with full-faced helmets on a high-powered motorcycle waited 20 minutes in the dark before assassinating him.
The severity of the attack – he was shot more than 10 times – showed that his assailants wanted him dead, police said.
Photofits of the two suspects were released by the police.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the suspects are believed to be either of European or Middle Eastern descent.
He said they are well-built and about 180cm tall with fair complexion and had beards.
Mohamad Fuzi said the police could not be certain if the two suspects were still in the country.
He declined to comment if Dr Fadi had any threatening exchanges with other people prior to his death.
He also said there was no threat to the victim’s family.
Mohamad Fuzi said police had retrieved 14 bullet slugs and they have been sent to the weapons experts for analysis.
Dr Fadi’s younger brother Dr Rami, 31, came to the Selayang Hospital’s Forensic Unit here at 9.30am yesterday to facilitate the processing of documents to claim his body.
He was believed to have arrived here from Germany.
It was learnt that Dr Fadi’s remains will be flown back to Gaza via Egypt today.