Hamas military chief's father's house bombed
On the 5th day of the Israel-Hamas war, the Israel Defence Forces on Wednesday claimed that it struck over 200 targets in the Al Furkan neighbourhood of the Gaza Strip and one of the targets was Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif's father's house. Several of his family members, including his father, brother and children were killed in Khan Yunis, reports claimed.
There is no news on Mohammed Deif, the shadowy figure, and also one of the most wanted men in Israel. The wheel-chair-bound leader has been the leader of Hamas's military wing since 2002. Mossad made several attempts to eliminate Deif, but he narrowly escaped every time.
7 things to know about Israel's reserve army and their role in times of need
Not much is known about Mohammed Deif apart from the details that he was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza in 1965 s when Gaza was under Egyptian control. "Deif would have been a young man at the time of Hamas's founding, when he joined the group in the late 1980s. Committed to armed resistance against Israel, Deif quickly rose to prominence within Hamas's military unit, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades," a BBC profile of Deif in 2021 read.
Deif earned a degree in science from the Islamic University in Gaza, where he studied physics, chemistry and biology. He displayed an affinity for the arts, heading the university's entertainment committee and performing on stage in comedies.
Mohammed Deif is called the cat with nine lives as the one-eyed man survived five Israeli assassinations in some of which he was gravely injured. His wife, 7-month-old son, and 3-year-old daughter were killed by an Israeli airstrike in 2014.
In videos, he is masked, or just a shadow of him is seen. He doesn't use modern digital technology such as smartphones.
On Saturday, Hamas fired thousands of rockets in a major and unprecedented attack on Israel. Mohammed Deif's voice was purportedly heard in a video message in which Hamas described the attack as a result of the 16-year blockade in Gaza. It was a rare occasion as Deif rarely speaks and never appears in public. "Today the rage of Al Aqsa, the rage of our people and nation is exploding. Our mujahedeen (fighters), today is your day to make this criminal understand that his time has ended," Deif said in the recording.
(With agency inputs)