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 Profiel van Mohammed Deif infographic
Graphic shows profile of Hamas mastermind Mohammed Deif.


Hamas- mastermind Mohammed Deif

By Duncan Mil

October 11, 2023 - Mohammed Deif, the man behind Hamas’ deadly assault on Israel, released an audio tape on the day of the attack, calling it payback for Israeli raids in 2021 on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

Calling the attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”, Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military wing Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, also referred to the “16-year blockade of Gaza, and recent incidents that have brought Israeli-Palestinian tensions to a fever pitch”.

On May 7, 2021, Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, injuring more than 170 Palestinians and dispersing worshippers elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem.

A survivor of seven Israeli assassination attempts -- the most recent in 2021 -- Deif rarely speaks and never appears in public. Only two undated grainy photos exist -- others either show him covered in a Palestinian keffiyeh or silhouette.

According to the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, dubbed Deif, was born in 1965 to a Palestinian refugee family from al-Qubeiba and settled in the Khan Yunis camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

Deif joined the Hamas movement at the end of 1987. He returned to school and received his education at the Islamic University of Gaza, where he graduated in 1988 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in science.

He then committed to Hamas’ cause of “destroying Israel with warfare and installing a Palestinian state,” quickly rising through the group’s ranks as the protege of chief bombmaker Yehya Ayyash, also known as “The Engineer.”

The decision to mount the Israeli assault was taken jointly by Deif and Sinwar, Hamas sources have said.

PUBLISHED: 11/10/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Asharq Al-Awsat, Getty Images, Twitter