Family of murdered KL lecturer to move to Gaza, says widow

Enas Batsh, the wife of Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh, at her home in Setapak.
Enas Batsh, the wife of Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh, at her home in Setapak.ST PHOTO: NADIRAH H. RODZI

KUALA LUMPUR - The family of slain Palestinian lecturer Dr Fadi al-Batsh will move back home to the Palestinian territory of Gaza after the academic is laid to rest there.

"God willing, we will start a new life in Gaza," said Dr Fadi's widow, Ms Enas Batsh.

Speaking at the family's house in Jalan Meranti, Setapak, on Tuesday night (April 24), Ms Enas, who had expected to continue postgraduate studies at the Universiti Malaya, said she would request to continue the programme online.

"It was my husband's wish to see me further my studies. He said I had been patient when he was pursuing his education so now, he wants me to pursue my passion," she said. The couple have three children, aged one to six.

Recalling the days leading up to Saturday's brutal killing, the 31-year-old widow said there were no signs anything was amiss.

"We didn't get any feeling that he was threatened. We were planning a holiday. It's unbelievable," she said.

In the early morning attack, two men wearing full-faced helmets waited 20 minutes on a high-powered motorcycle near Jalan Meranti.

 
 
 

They gunned down Dr Fadi, 35, as he was walking to a mosque, some 300m from his home, to lead dawn prayers.

Meanwhile, Dr Fadi's brother, Ramy, 28, hopes those responsible for the death will be brought to justice.

"It was a brutal attack... we want them to be taken to court and given the heaviest punishment," he said.

The family also denied claims that Dr Fadi was a rocket scientist as alleged by the Israeli government.

"It's inaccurate... My brother was only a positive person who loved his religion and knowledge.

"He filled most of his time with learning new things," said Mr Ramy, who also lives in Malaysia.

Israel's Mossad spy agency has been accused of being behind the killing but the Israeli government dismissed the allegation on Sunday.

The Palestine News Network, an Arabic language media network based in the Palestinian Territories, also said Israel had asked Egypt not to allow Dr Fadi's body to be brought back to Gaza, but the network said this was not under Israel's control as the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip falls within Egyptian sovereignty.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly said the request was in line with Israel's policy on preventing the transfer of the bodies of martyrs from the Hamas movement for burial in the Gaza Strip.

Malaysia's Humanitarian Care (MyCare) chief executive officer Kamarul Zaman Shaharul Anwar said on Tuesday it had finally obtained approval to take Dr Fadi's remains to Gaza after going through several agencies in Egypt.

Prayers for the dead man are scheduled to be conducted on Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, a high-powered motorcycle believed to have been used in the drive-by shooting was recovered by Malaysian police.

Malaysia's national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun confirmed the bike was found abandoned in Danau Kota, Setapak, some 2km from the scene of the shooting.

The Inspector-General of Police said while the police had a lead on the case, it would not be easy to trace the two assailants as they have yet to be identified.