Hundreds of Hamas mourners bury slain scientist in Gaza

Hundreds of Hamas mourners bury slain scientist in Gaza

Hundreds of Hamas mourners bury slain scientist in Gaza

The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy says the Gaza Strip is "a powder keg" and declared that the world "must do everything possible to prevent another war" between Israel and the Palestinians and elsewhere in the Mideast.

Al-Batsh, who was working as a university researcher in Malaysia, was killed by a pair of assailants on motorcycles early Saturday as he was on his way to pray at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur.

Liberman said Batsh - who according to Hamas was one of its members - was involved in developing rocket technology.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Saturday the individuals suspected of killing Batsh were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency.

His body was taken across the border between Gaza and Egypt on Thursday ahead of his funeral.

Hamas chief vice chairman Khalil al-Hayyah told reporters at Rafah crossing on the arrival of the body of Hamas scientist "You came back Fadi with your body and soul to embrace the land of Palestine".

Policemen carried Batsh's coffin, draped in the Palestinian flag, past an honour guard as family members wept.

Thousands of people, led by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, are taking part in the funeral of Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batsh in northern Gaza.

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The U.N. Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, said 35 Palestinians have been killed and "large numbers" wounded by Israeli military forces since protests along the Gaza-Israel border began on March 30.

Ahmed Abu Hussein, a correspondent for the local Shaab Radio channel, succumbed to his wounds Wednesday almost two weeks after being shot in northern Gaza. His body was returned to Gaza for burial.

Most of the Palestinians killed by Israel during the continuing protests were shot by snipers on the border, while a few others were killed by Israeli artillery or air strikes.

The protesters are demanding the right to to return to their ancestral homelands in what is now Israel.

Hamas is designated by Israel and the West as a terrorist group.

"Israel must calibrate its use of force and minimize the use of live fire". But it says its troops have been warning Gazans not to approach the border fence, and that it is doing what is necessary to stop the barrier from being damaged or breached.

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