Body of Palestinian killed in Malaysia returned to Gaza

A coffin containing the body of Palestinian scientist Fadi al-Batsh, assassinated in Malaysia, is carried at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
AFP

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – The body of a Palestinian scientist assassinated in Malaysia was returned to his native Gaza Strip on Thursday, Hamas said, after his family accused Israel of killing him.

Fadi al-Batsh was a member of Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, and was said to be a rocket-making expert.

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.

Family and friends of the 35-year-old have accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of carrying out the killing but the Jewish state has denied the claims.

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

Separately in Gaza Thursday, a few thousand people attended the funeral of a Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli fire during protests and clashes.

Ahmed Abu Hussein, a correspondent for the local Shaab Radio channel, succumbed to his wounds Wednesday nearly two weeks after being shot in northern Gaza.

Those at the funeral chanted slogans calling for media freedom to be respected.

The Israeli army has said its is looking into the circumstances of the death.

Abu Hussein was the second journalist to be killed since protests and clashes broke out on the Gaza-Israel border on March 30.

His death brought the toll of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire since March 30 to 41.

No Israelis have been injured.

The deaths have led to calls for an independent investigation from UN chief Antonio Guterres, the European Union and others but these have been rejected by Israel.

Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks.

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