The New York Times on Thursday said in a report that the Gaza engineer who was assassinated last week in the Malaysian Capital, had negotiated arm deals with North Korea.
According to the report, Fadi al-Batsh (35), was killed as part of an alleged operation by Israel’s Mossad to take out Hamas scientists and engineers training abroad to gather “know-how and weaponry to fight Israel.”
“That claim has been confirmed by Middle Eastern intelligence officials,” The New York Times reported, claiming the “broader operation” was ordered by the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen.
Regarding North Korea, the joint report, by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman and Hannah Beech, the Gray Lady’s Southeast Asia reporter, claimed that “Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials said that Batsh may have been involved in negotiating North Korean arms deals through Malaysia.”
The report said that Egypt recently captured a shipment of “communications components used for guided munitions destined for Gaza” from North Korea. The report said that according to an intelligence official, Batsh was involved in negotiating that deal.
The Times also cited a UN report claiming that Pyongyang had set up a shell company to circumnavigate sanctions and conduct sales of “military-grade communication systems” through Kuala Lumpur.
The two men suspected of killing Batsh in Kuala Lumpur were still in the country, Malaysian police said on Wednesday, as they released a fresh image of one of the men.
Two motorcyclists fired at least 14 shots at Batsh, an engineering lecturer, outside his apartment building in Kuala Lampur on Saturday, killing him on the spot.
Hamas have accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of assassinating Batsh, who they say was a member of their group.
Batsh’s body will be returned to Gaza via Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday evening, after the funeral procession in Kuala Lumpur, Palestine’s ambassador to Malaysia, Anwar Al Agha, told Reuters.