Fadi al-Batsh grew up in Gaza, but had been living in Malaysia for years. Al-Batsh was, by his day job, an academic focusing on electrical engineering in Malaysia.

The Linked-In Profile for al-Batsh, whose name appears transliterated in some reports as al-Batash or Albatsh, listed his current academic employment history.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/fadi-m-albatsh-5b993b28

https://www.linkedin.com/in/fadi-m-albatsh-5b993b28

Interestingly, his Linked-In profile also indicated he was a BDS supporter:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/boycotts-divestment-sanctions-bds-fadi-albatsh?articleId=6003538811852697600#comments-6003538811852697600&trk=prof-post

Al-Btash was gunned down in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smhmo9Y0Pb0

The initial take by his family was that he was just a Palestinian “scholar” who was killed by the Israeli Mossad because Israeli can’t stand educated Palestinians.

Yet that narrative quickly evaporated as Hamas admitted Abtash was an important member of the group. CBS News reported:

Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group said Saturday that a man who was gunned down in Malaysia was an important member of the organization, accusing Israel of being behind the brazen killing. Hamas said Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh was a “loyal” member and a “scientist of Palestine’s youth scholars.” It gave no further details on his scientific accomplishments but said he had made “important contributions” and participated in international forums in the field of energy.

Hamas initially stopped short of blaming Israel, saying only that he had been “assassinated by the hand of treachery.” But later its top leader accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency intelligence of killing him and threatened retaliation.

Ismail Haniyeh told The Associated Press Saturday that based on previous assassinations “Mossad is not away from this disgraceful, terrible crime.”

“There will be an unsettled account between us and it,” Haniyeh said at the Gaza mourning tent, referring to Mossad. “We cannot give up on the blood of our sons, youths and scholars.”

Public mourning for al-Batsh signals his importance to Hamas:

https://twitter.com/HamasInfoEn/status/987746037321355264

https://twitter.com/ShehabAgency/status/987756097451843584

https://twitter.com/AqsaTVChannel/status/987868445457993729

Israel publicly is chalking up al-Batsh’s death to an internal Palestinian struggle, though noting his role in Hamas’ war preparations. Haaretz reported:

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested on Sunday that the assassination at close range of Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batash in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, over the weekend may have been the result of a settling of accounts within the Islamist group. He did not respond directly, however, when asked if Israel was behind the killing.

In an interview to Kan Reshet Bet radio, Lieberman was asked if he had heard about the engineer’s death before or after it happened. He replied: “We heard about this on the news. There’s a tradition at this point among terrorist organizations of blaming Israel for every settling of accounts.”

“The man was not a saint,” Lieberman said referring to Al-Batash. “He wasn’t involved with improving the electricity grid or infrastructure and water. 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.”

When Lieberman was asked whether in fact there was no need to shed tears even if the assassination was not carried out by Israel, the Defense Minister 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.” When asked which faction would seek Al-Batash’s death, Lieberman replied: “That interests us less. You need to understand that we have no reason to shed a tear.”

Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz responded to the threats to attack Israelis abroad:

“I suggest Haniyeh to talk less and be more careful,” Katz said in an interview with Ynet on Sunday. “Gaza is much closer than Malaysia.”

Katz said an attack against Israelis abroad “would be crossing a red line,” threatening that it would “lead to the resumption of Israel’s targeted killing policy, and Hamas officials in Gaza—with (Haniyeh) among them—are expected to be hurt badly.”

“Israel knows how to locate and hurt those Hamas officials who are directing” terror attacks against Israelis abroad, the minister warned.

“Haniyeh and his friends should be careful before they talk … because Israel’s ability to hurt them will be absolute, hard and swift,” Katz went on to say.

Ronen Bergman, a journalist who has written the definitive book on Mossad operations, tweeted that this was a Mossad hit:

The #Mossad assassinated Fadi M. Albatsh, 35, in Kuala Lumpur, this morning. A member of the military wing of #Hamas he was part of one of the most secret unit that dealt with the development of advanced weapons for the organization.

https://twitter.com/ronenbergman/status/987674972310134785

This is reminiscent of the assassination in Tunisia of Mohammed al-Zawari, the Hamas Engineer assassinated in Tunisia working to attack Israeli gas platforms.