February 25, 2024

Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades, whom Israel has been hunting down for years, is alive and kicking, in all senses of the word, according to footage recently obtained by the IDF. 

In one of the videos, seized during intelligence-gathering operations inside the Gaza Strip, Deif is seen walking on his own two feet, albeit with a slight limp. 

From these videos, it now appears that Deif’s condition is significantly better than Israel had believed following a long series of attacks, some of which wounded him. Deif is able to walk on his own and does not use a wheelchair. He probably has use of both his hands. 

Over the course of many years, Deif has survived a total of seven assassination attempts. In four of these, including during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, he was injured, in some cases seriously, and he has recovered. 

In recent years, Deif has threatened Israel, declaring that the state will pay a heavy price for events on the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem. 

Mohammad Deif (credit: ARAB MEDIA)

Israel has offered $100,000 for information about Deif

Last week, the IDF dropped leaflets in Gaza offering rewards in excess of $100,000 to anyone who would provide reliable information about the whereabouts of senior Hamas officials, including Mohammed Deif. The leaflets stated that the IDF would pay $400,000 for information leading to the location of Yahya Sinwar and $300,000 for help locating his brother Mahmoud. 

The fact that Deif is alive and in relatively good condition fully contradicts the intelligence assessments of recent years. Until the discovery of these videos, Israel was under the impression that Deif required full-time care, that he traveled in ambulances, used wheelchairs, and suffered from physical handicaps. 

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When the day comes to investigate the various intelligence failures of this period, the case of Mohammed Deif will receive its own separate due.