Body of slain Hamas engineer returned to Gaza

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The murder of a Palestinian lecturer last week has brought attention to Malaysia's emergence as "an epicentre of worldwide intrigue" and as a "way station for extremists", according to a report by the influential New York Times.

Batsh was a lecturer at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, specializing in power engineering, according to the university.

The New York Times report stated that one official claimed that Batash was involved in negotiations regarding a massive shipment of weapons with North Korea.

The case has drawn attention to the possible involvement of Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad.

The Times also cited a United Nations report claiming that Pyongyang had established shell companies to circumvent global sanctions allowing it to conduct sales of "military-grade communication systems" through Kuala Lumpur.

Fadi al-Batsh was gunned down on Saturday morning by 2 men on a motorcycle as he walked to a mosque for dawn prayers. He was sent by the terror group to Malaysia to research and acquire weapons systems and drones, the report said.

Since March 30, Palestinians have been staging rallies along Gaza border demanding the return of refugees to their towns and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Police say they believe the 2 men are still in Malaysia.

The Palestinian envoy in Malaysia says the body of a Hamas militant killed last week in Kuala Lumpur will be repatriated to the Gaza Strip for burial. Police earlier published two computer-generated facial composite images describing the suspects as "most likely born in the Middle East or in the West".

Hamas has declined to confirm the Israeli claim, but the Palestinian group demands the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners whom Israel re-arrested after their release as part of an Egyptian-brokered exchange deal to free captured soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.

Hamas has previously accused the Mossad of assassinating another one of its drone experts - Mohamed Zouari - in Tunisia in 2016.

Mossad has been accused of several high-profile killings involving Palestinians around the world, although Israel has consistently denied the accusations.