Top Hamas commander Muhammad Deif is alive and well, Israeli intelligence sources confirmed.
The Hamas chief has returned to active power and has resumed command of the Gaza-based terror group’s armed wing, Walla! reported.
Deif, 51, was believed to have been severely injured in an IDF strike on his home last summer in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The strike claimed the lives of Deif’s wife and two children and forced the terrorist mastermind underground.
The summer strike to neutralize Deif is just one of five Israeli assassination attempts over the course of many years. He is one of Israel’s most wanted terrorist targets for assassination.
As the head of Hamas’s military wing, Deif planned and executed many terror attacks against Israeli that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Israelis. According to Israeli sources, Deif was the head planner of a cross-border kidnapping attack that sought to take dozens of IDF soldiers and Israeli civilian’s hostage.
The plan was formulated months before the war in Gaza and was meant to force Israeli leaders to respond with a widespread ground assault on the Gaza Strip. Deif’s daring terror attack was eventually canceled by the political leadership of Hamas who believed the cost to Gaza in an Israeli response far outweighed the benefits.
Deif is a key figure in the strategic decision-making echelons of Hamas. He is also believed to head Hamas’s relations with Iran, which he and several other Hamas members are seeking to expand.
The Walla! report noted that Deif’s resurfacing comes at a critical time for Hamas, as the terror groups is focusing most of its efforts on restocking its weapons caches, developing new short and long range rockets, and rebuilding its terror tunnel infrastructure.
Intelligence officials believe that over 1,000 tunnel diggers are being employed by Hamas to construct the tunnels.