- Mohammed Deif
Mohammed Deif Born Mohammed Deif Years active 2002 - Present Known for Commander of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Mohammed Deif (Arabic: محمد ضيف , Mʋhɑm̑ɑd Ɗɑỉf) Born in 1960, is a commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. He gained that position after Israel killed Salah Shehade in July, 2002. Israel suspects him of being a bombmaker and holds him personally responsible for the deaths of dozens of civilians in suicide bombings since 1996. He is considered a designer of the Qassam rocket together with Nidal Fat'hi Rabah Farahat and Adnan al-Ghoul. He had been under Palestinian custody from May 2000 until April 2001 when he was released. Deif was the person considered the top of Israel's most wanted list for several years.
Despite initial reports of his death in an Israeli air strike on September 27, 2002, an Israeli official confirmed that he survived the attack. He has survived five other Israeli strikes, which caused him serious handicaps.
On August 26, 2005, a man identifying himself as Mohammed Deif appeared in a videotape released by the brigades. With most of his body in a shadow and part of his face blackened out, Deif spoke in a deep voice about the recent Gaza withdrawal, praised the Hamas members who gave their lives during fighting in Gaza and vowed to continue to attack until Israel's destruction.
In February 2006, some Israeli media outlets reported that Deif, unhappy with the truce announced by Hamas, decided to split from the group to join Al-Qaeda cells being established in the Gaza Strip. However, this was denied by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
In the early morning hours of July 12, 2006, Israeli aircraft blasted a house where high-level Hamas leaders were meeting. Deif survived the blast, but he lost his left eye.
In December 2010, the Hamas movement marked the 23rd anniversary of its establishment with an official booklet entitled The Path of Glory (Darb al-ezza), which includes statements by Hamas military leaders alongside statistical data on terror actions carried out against Israel.
Mohammed Deif, head of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, wrote: The al-Qassam Brigades...are better prepared to continue on our exclusive path to which there is no alternative, and that is the path of jihad and the fight against the enemies of the Muslim nation and mankind....We say to our enemies: you are going on the path to extinction (zawal), and Palestine will remain ours including Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Al-Aqsa (mosque), its towns and villages from the (Mediterranean) Sea to the (Jordan) River, from its North to its South. You have no right to even an inch of it.
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