Mohammed Deif

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Mohammed Deif (Arabic: محمد ضيف ‎) 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.[1] He has survived five other Israeli strikes, which caused him serious handicaps.

His senior assistant, Adnan al-Ghoul was killed by Israeli Air Force on October 21, 2004.

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.[2]

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.

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