Israel’s Channel 12 News on Wednesday evening published an exclusive photo of Hamas’s top military commander, Mohammed Deif, approximately a quarter-century after the only known image of the shadowy terror chief was first made public.
The undated picture, which was reportedly obtained by Israel’s security forces in recent weeks, shows Deif limping and missing one eye, ostensibly due to Israeli attempts on his life, according to Channel 12.
Though Israeli intelligence agencies believed for years that Deif was paraplegic, Israeli forces in Gaza uncovered recent videos of the terrorist mastermind walking, though with a slight limp, Maariv reported last week.
Deif is said to have directed the Oct. 7 attack against Israel, making him a prime target for Israeli forces. On Oct. 11, Israel hit the home of Deif’s father, killing his brother along with his brother’s wife and children.
The day of the attack on Israel’s south, Deif called on Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East to “set the Earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers [Israel].”
He released an audio message in which he dubbed Hamas’s multi-pronged attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and called to “expel the occupiers and demolish the walls” of the Jewish state.
He also urged the “Islamic resistance in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon” to “merge their resistance with that of the Palestinians” and “start marching toward Palestine.”
Deif has commanded Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza since the 1990s, and has orchestrated a series of terrorist attacks on Israelis. He also oversaw Hamas’s armament program, its tunnel project and attempts to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips.