Israel suggests Hamas to blame for death of Palestinian in Malaysia

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By Middle East Affairs

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview Sunday that the assassination of a Palestinian engineer in Malaysia might have been a “settling of accounts” within Hamas.

Fadi al-Batash, a Palestinian engineer and lecturer living in Malaysia, was shot at close range Saturday in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

In an interview Sunday with Kan Reshet Bet radio that Haaretz reported on, Lieberman was asked what he knew about the incident.

“We heard about this on the news,” he said. “There’s a tradition at this point among terrorist organizations of blaming Israel for every settling of accounts.”

Speaking about Al-Batash, he said the man “was not a saint.”

“He wasn’t involved with improving the electricity grid or infrastructure and water,” Lieberman continued. “We have heard the announcements by the heads of the Hamas taking responsibility for the man, explaining the he was involved with the production of rockets, with improving the rockets’ accuracy.”

The interviewer asked Lieberman whether tears should be shed regardless of who was responsible for the attack. Haaretz said he responded: “A settling of scores among terrorist organizations, among terrorists, among various factions, is something that we see from time to time. I assume that that’s also what occurred in this case. … You need to understand that we have no reason to shed a tear.”

Al-Batash was shot at close range by two motorcyclists while exiting a mosque. Hamas, the militant group in control of the Gaza Strip, has accused the Mossad of carrying out the assassination, while Malaysia similarly says it must have been carried out by foreign agents.

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