|Born||Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri
1965 (age 49–50)
Khan Younis, Egyptian controlled Gaza Strip
|Other names||Abu Khaled|
|Years active||2002 – present|
|Known for||Commander of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades|
|Allegiance||Palestinian Authority (Hamas)|
|Service/branch||Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades|
Mohammed Deif (Arabic: محمّد ضيف ; born 1965 in Khan Younis), born Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, serves as the chief commander of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the organization Hamas. Fox News reported that an Israeli intelligence source believed that Deif was killed in an airstrike on August 19, 2014. Hamas denied that Deif was killed. Deif's wife, infant son, and daughter perished in the attack.
Deif became the commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades after Israel killed Salah Shehade in July 2002. Israel suspects him of being a bombmaker, and holds him personally responsible for the murder of dozens of civilians in numerous suicide bombings since 1996, among them the Jaffa Road bus bombings in Jerusalem. He is considered to be the designer of the Qassam rocket, together with Nidal Fat'hi Rabah Farahat and Adnan al-Ghoul. He was in Palestinian custody from May 2000 to April 2001. Deif was the person considered at the top of Israel's most wanted list for several years.
In February 2006, some Israeli media argued that Deif would join Al Qaeda cells being established in the Gaza Strip since he did not support the approach of Hamas. However, this claim was denied by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Targeted killing attempts against Deif
He has survived five Israeli strikes, which caused him serious handicaps. Despite initial reports of his death in an Israeli air strike on 27 September 2002, an Israeli official confirmed that he survived the attack. His senior assistant, Adnan al-Ghoul, was killed by in an Israeli airstrike on 21 October 2004.
In the early morning hours of 12 July 2006, Israeli aircraft blasted a house in which high-level Hamas leaders were meeting. Deif survived the blast, but severely injured his spine. After this event, Ahmed Jabari became the acting commander of the military wing of Hamas.
On August 19, 2014, the Israeli military conducted an airstrike on a house in the neighborhood of Sheikh Radwan in Gaza City that killed Deif's 27-year-old wife Widad, 7-month-old son Ali, 3-year-old daughter Sara, and three civilians. Hamas denied that Deif was killed.
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 military actions carried out against Israel.
Mohammed Deif 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."
- "Mohammed Deif". Princeton University. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Gaza: Hamas claims its military commander Mohammed Deif is alive". First Post. Aug 20, 2014.
- "Mohammad Deif – Head of the Armed Wing". IDF. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Asser, Martin (26 September 2002). "Profile: Hamas commander Mohammed Deif". BBC. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Official: Hamas target survives Israeli attack". CNN. 27 September 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Israel's Most Wanted Man Seriously Injured In Bombing". WLTX (Gaza City). AP. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Chabin, Michele (14 November 2012). "Israelis brace for attacks after Hamas leader killed". USA Today (Jerusalem). Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Israeli airstrikes target Hamas military chief in Gaza: report". Xinhua. Aug 20, 2014.
- "Gaza killing resumes with peace talks in tatters". CBS News. Aug 20, 2014.
- "UPDATE 4-Gaza war rages on, Hamas says Israel tried to kill its military chief". Reuters. Aug 20, 2014.
- Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi (3 January 2011). "Talking to Hamas? – Increasing Expressions of Genocidal Intent by Hamas Leaders Against the Jews". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 18 November 2012.