Liberman: Body of Hamas engineer won’t reach Gaza through Israel

As the Malaysian authorities conduct an autopsy on the body of Dr. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman clarified that the government will not allow the Hamas member’s body to reach Gaza through Israel. “However, if they try to transfer it through Egypt and the Rafah Border Crossing, then we won’t have any control over the matter,” he added.
Liberman Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

On Sunday morning, the Malaysian authorities started an autopsy on the body of Dr. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, the Palestinian engineer who was gunned down in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. According to reports, senior Hamas members are on their way to Malaysia to assist in the investigation into Batsh’s alleged assassination, which has been attributed to the Israeli Mossad.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman commented on the Hamas member’s death and the claim that Israel was responsible for it during an interview with Army Radio on Sunday morning. “They are always blaming us for these things. With the same accuracy rate of their claims, it would be possible to also blame James Bond,” he stated. “We don’t need to comment on every remark made by [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh. We are focusing on what’s happening along our borders. Anyway, Hamas is trying to carry out time after time attacks abroad but fails.”

“We don’t allow the bodies of Hamas terrorists to enter the Gaza Strip,” Liberman said when he was asked about the possibility of Batsh being buried in the coastal enclave. “We won’t allow the transfer of the engineer’s body from Malaysia to Gaza for a burial. However, if they try to transfer it through Egypt and the Rafah Border Crossing, then we won’t have any control over the matter, even though yesterday evening we conveyed our position through the acceptable channels.”

Yesterday, Haniyeh claimed that Batsh’s death proves that the fight against Israel has expanded to new territories. “The enemy certainly has an open account with the Palestinian people,” Haniyeh alleged. “[The enemy] has made scientists, students and activists from all the movements targets.”

Batash, 35, was an expert in alternative energy and unmanned aircraft systems. He was reportedly shot by masked gunmen at 6 a.m. (local time) while on his way to prayers at a mosque. For the past decade, he had been living in Malaysia, where he worked as a teacher at a private university and was active in a Malaysian charity for Palestinian welfare.

On Saturday evening, the family of Hadar Goldin, a fallen IDF soldier whose body is being held captive by Hamas in Gaza, contacted senior Israeli officials and demanded that the Israeli government prevent Batash’s body from reaching Gaza. “The establishment of a mourners’ tent in Gaza after the news of Batash’s death arrived is a clear indication that Hamas is waiting for an opportunity to hold a propagandist funeral,” the family added.



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