Deif has survived seven assassination attempts by Israel, lost an eye and a leg – The fact that he managed to survive while running the armed wing of Hamas made him a Palestinian folk hero
Israel has said that last week’s sweeping Hamas attack was his own 9/11. The brain back the attack, the Palestinian Mohammed DaifThe named “Visitor” due to the habit of sleeping in a different house every night to avoid detection, he calls it the “Al Aqsa Flood”.
The phrase Israel’s most wanted man used in an audio message, which was broadcast as Hamas was firing thousands of rockets on Saturday from the Gaza Stripmeant the attack was retaliation for Israeli raids on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It was May 2021, following a raid on Islam’s third holiest site that had outraged the Arab and Muslim world, when Dave began planning the operation that claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people in Israel.according to a source close to Hamas in Gaza.
“The trigger was provided by videos and photos depicting Israel’s raid on Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, the beating of pilgrims, the attack on them, old and young to be dragged out of the mosque”the source said. “All of that fueled and fueled the anger.”
This raid on the mosque compoundlong a hotbed of violence over issues of sovereignty and religion in Jerusalem, contributed to fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas that lasted 11 days.
More than two years later, Saturday’s attackthe worst breach of Israeli defenses since the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict, prompted Israel to declare war and launch retaliatory strikes against Gaza that had killed more than 800 people as of yesterday, Tuesday.
Dave he has survived seven attempts on his life by Israel, the last of which was in 2021. She rarely speaks and never appears in public. So when Hamas TV announced it was going to speak on Saturday, Palestinians knew something big was in the works.
“Today the anger of Al Aqsa, the anger of our people and nation explodes. Our Mujahideen (fighters), today is your day to make this criminal know his time is up”Dave says on the recording.
There are only three pictures of Dave: in one he’s in his twenties, in another he’s wearing a mask and it’s also a photo of his shadow, which was used when the recorded message was broadcast.
Dave’s whereabouts are unknown, though he is likely in Gaza, within the maze of tunnels that lie beneath the enclave. A source in the Israeli security forces stated that Dave is directly involved in the planning and operational aspects of the attack.
Two brains, one mastermind
Palestinian sources reported that one of the houses hit overnight by israeli airstrikes in gaza belonged to daif’s father. His brother Dave and two other family members were killed in the attack, the sources said.
The source close to Hamas stated that the decision to prepare the attack was made jointly by Davewho commands Hamas’s Al Qassam Brigades, and Yehia Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, but it is not clear who the architect was.
“They are two brains, but one mastermind”the source said, adding that information about the operation was known only to a handful of Hamas leaders.
The secrecy was such that Iran, sworn enemy of Israel and a major source of funding, training and weapons for Hamas, knew only in general terms that the movement was planning a great operation and knew neither the time nor the details, according to a regional source familiar with the Islamist group’s thinking.
The source said that while Tehran knew how a great operation was in preparation, it had not been discussed in any common room of operations which includes Hamas, the Palestinian leadership, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iran. “It was a very tight circle,” the source said.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said yesterday, Tuesday, that Tehran was not involved in the attack on Israel. Washington has stated that while Tehran is complicit, it has no information or evidence to show direct Iranian involvement in the attacks.
Planas Dave conceived it, included a prolonged attempt to deceive. Israel has been led to believe that Hamas, an ally of Israel’s sworn enemy Iran, is not interested in starting a conflict and is instead focused on economic development in Gaza, which the Islamist movement rules.
But while Israel was beginning to offer financial incentives to Gaza workers, the group’s fighters trained and exercised, often in full view of the Israeli armed forcessaid a source close to Hamas.
“We have been preparing for this battle for two years”said Ali Baraka, the head of Hamas’s foreign relations department.
Speaking in a calm voice, Dave says in his recorded message that Hamas had repeatedly warned Israel to stop its crimes against the Palestiniansto release prisoners he said are being mistreated and tortured, and to stop the expropriation of Palestinian land.
“Every day the occupation raids our villages, towns and cities in the West Bank and raids houses, kills, injures, destroys and imprisons. At the same time, he is confiscating thousands of acres of our land, uprooting our people from their homes to build settlements, while his criminal siege continues in Gaza.”
“In the shadow”
For well over a year, unrest has been raging in the West Bank, an area roughly 100 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide that has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Israel occupied it in 1967.
Dave said that Hamas had called on the international community to put an end to the “crimes of the occupation”, but Israel increased its challenges. He also said that Hamas has previously asked Israel for a humanitarian deal to release imprisoned Palestiniansbut her request was rejected.
“In light of the occupation’s rampage and its denial of international law and international rulings, and in light of its American and Western support and international silence, we have decided to put an end to all this,” he said.
He was born in 1965 as Mohammed Masri in the Khan Yunis Refugee Camp, established after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and became known as Mohammed Deif after joining Hamas during the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising that began in 1987.
Arrested by Israel in 1989 and spent about 16 months in prison, according to a Hamas source.
Daif received a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the Islamic University in Gaza, where he studied physics, chemistry and biology. He showed a penchant for the arts, leading the university’s entertainment committee and taking part in comedy plays.
As he rose through the ranks of Hamas, Deif developed the organization’s network of tunnels and bomb-making capabilities. For decades he was on Israel’s most wanted list, having been held personally responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings.
For Dave, staying in the shadows was a matter of life and death. Sources in Hamas said that he lost an eye and was seriously injured in a leg in one of Israel’s attempts to assassinate him.
His wife, seven-month-old son and three-year-old daughter were killed by an Israeli air strike in 2014.
The fact that he managed to survive while running the armed wing of Hamas made him a Palestinian folk hero. In videos he appears wearing a mask or only his shadow is visible. It does not use modern digital technology such as “smart” mobile phones, the source close to Hamas said.
“He is invisible. He is the man in the shadows.”
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