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The killing of Fadi al-Batsh, a Palestinian researcher and lecturer by gunmen in the Kuala Lumpur has put Malaysia’s capital on high alert.
Mourners allege that Israel was behind the killing.
Malaysian police then issued facial sketches of the suspects, showing them as light-skinned and of European or Middle Eastern descent.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister, claimed they had links to a foreign intelligence agency adding he was a “liability for a country that is an enemy of Palestine” namely, Israel.
Israel denied these allegations with Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman blaming rival militant groups within the Palestinian leadership for the shooting.
But Israel’s spy agency Mossad is known to have assassinated Palestinian, Arab and Iranian scientists in the past.
Malaysia does not have formal diplomatic ties with Israel and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was the first non-Arab head-of-state to visit Gaza as a guest of Hamas.
Hamas immediately dispatched a delegation to Malaysia to meet with government authorities to monitor the investigations.
A police handout showed police officers holding computer generated images of the two men suspected of gunning down the Palestinian.
Meanwhile Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman was quoted in an Al Jazeera report describing how the killing of al-Batsh appeared to be consistent with tactics used by Mossad.
“The fact that the killers used a motorcycle to kill their target, which has been used in many other Mossad operations” Bergman said.
The investigative journalist recently co-authored a report in the New York Times citing Middle Eastern intelligence officials linking al-Batsh’s assassination with ongoing operations against Palestinian and Arab scientists.
The report, which characterizes Malaysia as an emerging “epicenter of international intrigue” alleges that Hamas has leveraged its political ties with the Malaysian government in a bid to use the Muslim majority country as a research base for weapons technology.
Malaysia’s general election is to take place on May 9, but strangely no political party has yet attempted to politicize the assassination of al-Batsh in what is clearly a sovereignty-violating attack by Israel.