Israel arrests 15 Hamas members after Malaysia assassination

Israel arrests 15 Hamas members after Malaysia assassination
Israel claimed to arrest 15 Hamas members in an overnight raid, hours after the Palestinian movement vowed revenge over an assassination of a member in Malaysia.
2 min read
22 April, 2018
The raid comes after Hamas vowed revenge over a member assassinated in Malaysia [Getty]

Up to 15 Hamas operatives were arrested in an overnight raid in the West Bank, the Israeli military said on Sunday.

The military claimed that those captured are suspected of collaborating with a well-known Hamas operative from Gaza with the aim of expanding activities into the West Bank.

The West Bank is governed by Hamas' rival Fatah movement.

The overnight raid comes after Hamas accused Israel of assassinating a member in Malaysia on Saturday.

Malaysian authorities said Fadi al-Batsh, 35, was killed by two suspects believed to have ties with a foreign intelligence agency, in a drive-by shooting in Kuala Lumpur on his way to dawn prayers.

Hamas said the slain Palestinian lecturer was an important member of the organisation, and Israel of being behind the brazen killing and vowing revenge.

Israel's defence minister said on Sunday dismissed suggestions that Israel's Mossad spy agency assassinated him.

Avigdor Lieberman said it was likely that Batsh was killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

The past few weeks have seen tensions rise between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel. Mass protests along the Gaza border have turned deadly, with at least 38 unarmed Palestinian protesters shot dead by Israeli forces since March 30, and hundreds more injured by live fire.

Around 1,600 protesters were wounded by gunfire or needed treatment for tear gas inhalation in the three weeks of protests.

Protests have centered on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, after they were expelled following the 1948 creation of Israel.