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Israel’s campaign against Hamas drones

The assassination of a Hamas-affiliated engineer in Malaysia turns the spotlight on the movement's drone program.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has dismissed accusations that Israel gunned down Palestinian electrical engineer Fadi al-Batsh in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. However, in an April 22 interview on Israel’s Kan public radio, Liberman left no room for doubt that Israel had all the reasons in the world to want to assassinate him. “The man was not a saint,” Liberman said. “He wasn’t involved with improving the electricity grid or infrastructure and water. We have heard the announcements by the heads of Hamas taking responsibility for the man, explaining that he was involved with the production of rockets, with improving the rockets’ accuracy.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who also holds the government’s intelligence affairs portfolio, provided an even stronger hint. “Based on the cries of despair from the heads of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, it turns out he wasn't such a great saint and the citizens of Israel have no reason to shed a tear over him being gone," he told Ynet news website. Nonetheless, he added, Hamas has other enemies, and “many elements in this region, not just Israel, have an interest in hurting its capabilities."

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