war in the middle east

Family of Hamas Military Leader Killed by Israeli Strike

Relatives of seven-month-old Ali Deif, the son of Hamas's military commander Mohammed Deif, place his body into a grave during his funeral at the Beit Lahia cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip on August 20, 2014. Several thousand mourners joined the funeral procession for the wife and baby son of Hamas's military commander, angrily demanding revenge against Israel.
Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Israel is sticking to its strike-back-hard promise after a nine-day cease-fire was ended by rocket fire from Hamas.

In one of its latest strikes, the IDF was apparently going after a major target — but he apparently managed to avoid their fire once more. Israeli fire hit the residence of Mohammed Deif, leader of Hamas’s military wing, killing his wife, Widad Mustafa, and infant son. Hamas leaders, meanwhile, deny that Deif was one of the bodies pulled from the ruins and posted on Facebook that he is “still alive.” 

Killing Deif would have been a major victory for the IDF, which has come under fire for killing too many civilians in its war against Hamas.

And Deif is exactly the kind of guy they’re aiming to kill. He’s the leader of Hamas’s armed wing — you know, the one that Israeli forces insist must disarm in the course of long-term truce negotiations? — and is credited with designing the group’s Qassam rockets, which it uses to attack Israel. The Times reports that he has been at the top of Israel’s hit list since he bragged about “winning the war” last month.

And this wasn’t his first near-death encounter, either. Deif had previously been seriously wounded by Israeli forces in 2003.

According to the IDF, over 175 rockets have been fired at Israel since the cease-fire ended. The IDF responds to them with strikes of its own. As for a cease-fire … well, we don’t know when that will come again.

Israel Hits Hamas Military Leader’s Family