The Mastermind of Hamas: Who is Mohammed Deif?

By: Brett Redmayne-Titley

 Without an army for the people, there is nothing for the people.  – MaoTse-tung (On Guerrilla Warfare)


Mohammed Deif is the most dangerous man in the world.

Confronted with the world’s two most militaristic national horrors, and with the civilized world looking on in hand-wringing anguish, Hamas has commanded both these villains of inhumanity to their knees; the negotiating table in Cairo.

The iron-fisted leader of Hamas, Mohammed Deif, is closer than ever before to a victory for the autonomy of Gaza, and a National victory Palestine.

More importantly a victory for the remaining civilized world.

The Israeli controlled media, having few facts about Mohammed Deif, much less any willingness to expand on the reasons for Israel’s latest military defeat, tries to vilify Mohammed Deif with vague general terms like “shadowy”, and “relatively unknown.” A myopic press misses the most important description of this career champion of the Palestinian people, “military scholar.” That compliment translates literally to, “student of guerrilla warfare.”

Historically this effective military strategy has given freedom and nationalism to many oppressed peoples. Guerrilla warfare has built nations. What would South Africa be without the armed resistance within the African National Congress (ANC)? Would Ireland have gained its autonomy from Britain without the Irish Republican Army (IRA)?

Would Israel be a nation?

With the skill of Mao ridding China of the Japanese from 1937-1945, or Che Guevara’s victorious popular uprisings in Cuba of1954-59, Mohammed Deif has made his mentors very proud indeed. Palestine has been under the barbaric oppression of Israeli hypocrisy, an oppression that long ago crossed the lines of inhumanity. Right through Gaza.

Hence, the need for Hamas.

Guerrilla warfare is more than guns and blood shed. Designed to terminally conquer oppression, victory requires a chess game that goes beyond mere military strategy to political cunning. Mohammed Deif, while presumably hiding in an unknown bunker deep under Gaza, is surely grinning. He has, as predicted by history and the practices of Mao and Guevara, turned the horror that has been a month-long legend of Israeli blood-lust in Gaza into the obvious strength of Hamas’s current political negotiating position.


World-wide support.


Proof can be found in any TV appearance by Israeli Prime Minister, BiBi Netanyahu since the start of Tuesday’s seventy-two hour cease fire. Drawn, tired, and as usual confused on the facts his arrogant sneer is conspicuously missing. His brash confidence is also missing, now relegated to the bottom of his desk’s trash can with the shreds of Thursday’s sudden Israeli press revelations of 1600 wounded Israeli soldiers to go with at least sixty-four dead, and the morning’s Israeli public approval poll of his war crimes plummeting to 60% for his failure to meet Israeli expectations of true genocidal barbarity.


What’s a war criminal to do?


Even BiBi’s Washington puppet is now dangling wildly on his strings in the fierce wind of public world outrage.  Ah, “the sorrows of empire.”


Worse for Israel, these Hamas military and political victories will further embolden world-wide opposition to Zionist control. Throughout Palestine and across the world, the consciousness of our world further wakens to the real threat of Israel, with the horrific images of Gaza now firmly, and forever, in mind. Mohammed Deif has shown leadership in this pending victory for Hamas. For Gaza. For Palestine.


And for you and I.


For that Mohammed Deif is the most dangerous man in the world.



The guerrilla fighter is the Jesuit of warfare.”

– Che Guevara (Guerrilla Warfare)


Two of the most successful and renowned revolutionaries of the 20th century also authored the two most read books about guerrilla warfare. In his 1937 manifesto, On Guerrilla Warfare, Mao observed that, without the support of the people, the guerrilla is a fish out of water, and it cannot survive. In agreement Guevara states in, “Guerrilla Warfare,”  that, “the guerrilla fighter needs full help from the people… and, must have a moral conduct that shows him to be a true priest of the reform to which he aspires”  




Mohammed Deif was born in 1965 into the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza. Deif’s family was originally from the pre-1948 Palestinian village of Kochva near present-day Ashkelon which was razed to make way for Israel. Due to the wholesale eviction of Palestinians from Palestine to the many long term refugee camps, Mohammed Deif was born into a prison.


He is the personification of Palestine.


As a teenager he joined up with the Muslim Brotherhood, and was active in student politics at Gaza’s Islamic University. At the outbreak of the first intifada, Deif joined the ranks of Hamas’ militia.  He was arrested by Israel in May 1989, and sentenced to sixteen months in prison.
Released in 1991, Deif went straight to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, where he met his mentor, Yahya “the engineer” Ayyash, who headed the brigades until his assassination in 1996. Known for his bomb making skills, Ayyash taught these skills and the necessity of military tactics to Mohammed Deif as he continued to rise in the command structure of Hamas.


According to, in 1994 the Hamas cells under his command kidnapped and killed three Israeli soldiers, Nachshon Wachsman, Aryeh Frankenthal and Shahar Simani.


When the Israelis assassinated Ayyash using an explosive mobile phone, Deif masterminded a series of lethal bomb attacks on Israeli civilians in February and March of 1996, in which fifty-eight Israelis were killed in one week.


Muhammad Deif then went underground. Photos of him since are extremely rare with none seen in the last decade.


Of course the Israelis tried to kill him. They failed five times, increasing his legend, and earning the nick name,the cat with nine lives.


On August 22, 2001, Deif and his deputy Adnan al-Awal escaped a targeted assassination attempt. On September 26, 2002, an IDF Apache helicopter fired two Hellfire missiles at Deif’s car as he returned home from a visit of condolence in the Sheikh Rawan district of Gaza. He survived.


The IDF tried again in August 2003, bombing the top floor of an apartment building where the Hamas military leadership, including al-Awal, Haniyeh, Deif and the movements spiritual leader Ahmad Yassin were meeting. The men were on the building’s bottom floor and escaped with light injuries.


Five Israeli assassination attempts have reportedly left him in need of continued medical care. When he travels Mohammed Deif goes with a heavy escort of two separate teams of security agents whom he personally selects and trusts. Apparently he is also a master of disguise having reportedly moved about Gaza on his own without detection. Since there are no recent pictures of him, this may work well for him and shows the kind of brass he brings to his leadership of Hamas.


Only two top Hamas figures know where he is and only one, Prime Minister Haniyeh is thought to be the only person who has direct contact with him.


Though rarely seen, Deif controls Hamas’s political and military assets with a tight grip. Hamas’s military council and general staff wait for his blessing before taking any measures. The same deference is shown by Hama’s external politiburo chief Khaled Meshaal; Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh; and the chief of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Marwan Issa.


The true power of Mohammed Deif within the internal political structure of Hamas was clearly shown in the highly secretive 2012-2013 elections for Hamas’  governing body, the Shura Council. Despite the attempt by Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal to secure seats for his own loyalists, Deif prevailed, gaining further support and new seats for his hand-picked supporters instead.


In order to get rid of the gun, it is necessary to take up the gun.                     

           – Mao.


Guerrilla Warfare is a method of war that can be traced back as far as the 3rd century B.C. when Fabius Maximus successfully utilized this form of warfare against Hannibal’s much larger forces during the Second Punic War. Ever since then, the tactics of, Guerra de guerrillas, or Guerrilla Warfare have been used again and again, often proving victorious, throughout history.


Mao Tse-Tung’s use and theory of Guerrilla Warfare was used and adapted by Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap who led the victories over two great countries with nothing more than an ill- equipped insurgent army and the will to fight and resist.


And tunnels. Miles and miles of tunnels.


Sub-commander, “Marcos,” led his Guerrillas out of the hills of Chiapas, Mexico, in the 1994 “Zapatista uprising” to deliver blow after blow against an oppressive Mexican army. He too, brought the oppressors to the negotiating table and peace to Chiapas.


Reportedly he carried with him at all times the same two bibles of  military craft that had already served history so well.


Hamas was created in 1992 under the direction of Yahya Ayyash becoming the only Palestinian socio-political organization to offer the many missing social services needed by Gazans; while maintaining dedication to regaining the nation of Palestine. A classified US Congressional report grudgingly admits that, its [Hamas] social services wing has been very popular and important among Palestinians.


The primary task of Hamas, beyond popular support, is to build a coherent military organization to support and enforce the political goals of Hamas in Palestine.


Hamas’s military defense forces in Gaza are the Izz ad- Din al-Qassam Brigades named after an influential Sunni Islamic preacher in the times of the British Mandate of Palestine, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. In 1930 al-Qassam organized and established the Black Hand, an anti-Zionist and anti-British militant organization. Prior to his death in 1935, he had recruited, enlisted and provided military training to upwards of eight hundred men.


The Black Hand was the precursor to Hamas.


Under the training and tactics chosen by Mohammed Deif, Hamas has become a formidable army in the mold of Hezbollah, which thrashed their Israeli opposition in Lebanon in 2006. Hamas’s strength is in its ability to carry out complex and lethal attacks.


As required by the texts of Mao and Guevara the brigades can count on a huge pool of individuals seeking to join their ranks. Hamas reportedly receives some aid from Iran (10% of its budget by some estimates) but apparently derives most of its financing from Palestinian expatriates around the world, private sympathizers in Arab states, and legitimate businesses in Palestinian controlled areas. Foreign sympathizers supply the militants with weapons smuggled in using tunnels. Hamas engineers provide the fighters with effective homemade weapons such as the al-Bana, the Batar, the Yasin and the Qassam rocket.


In July 2006, the Al-Qassam Brigades staged the operation which led to the capture of Israeli soldier, .Gilad Shalit This turned out to be a perfectly executed plan by Hamas as the negotiations for Shalit’s safe release equaled the release of 1027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.



War is the continuation of politics by other means.

-Carl von Clausewitz


Mao declares that Guerrilla war strategies are pursued, to achieve purely political goals. He continues to emphasize that, “the simple minded militarists must be made to realize the relationship that exists between politics and military affairs.”


Indeed. The Cairo peace talks.


Signaling defeat, Israel asked for an extension of the seventy-two hour cease fire. Acknowledging this sign of weakness, and refusing to bluff, Hamas fired off five rockets toward Israel three minutes after the end on the cease fire.


Engarde, Israel!


Mohammed Deif’s military victory is the necessary precursor to the ultimate goal of political victory; freedom for Gaza.


Israel has been dealing from a stacked deck of cards for decades thanks to America and their pals across the globe. Suddenly, as is the case with the pure statistics of history, Hamas has been dealt a perfect hand; four aces.


First, Hamas has inflicted sever damage to the overwhelming might of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli economy. This week arrogant Israelis were shocked at the news of the 1600 plus severely injured IDF soldiers. Reports indicate that the official Israeli death toll, which is stated to be sixty-four, is a low-ball fabrication. Hence, it is no wonder that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz went to so far as to declare: We now [the IDF] move into a period of rehabilitation.


Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza has cost the country’s economy some $1.44 billion, its central bank governor Karnit Flug said this past Thursday. “The assessment is that it can reach up to around 0.5 percent of GDP, which is up to 5 billion shekels,” he told Israel’s Channel Ten television.


Worse, after all that the IDF admitted, “Hamas is still standing and left with most of its military infrastructure unscathed, provides it [volunteers]with the core of a regular Palestinian army, which the Islamists did not have before the launch of Operation Defensive Edge on July 7.


Which leads to the second ace.


Reportedly the ranks of Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades are swelling.


Indeed. Your new-born child, or your mother, or your brother, or your sister, grandmother, brother, aunt, uncle, or just your entire family has just been blown to bits by an unapologetic demon that celebrates its genocide. What does a man do?


He picks up a gun.


Press TV, in interviews with Gazans this week, reports that despite the destruction of the Gaza Strip by Israeli horrors,  Palestinians remain loyal to the resistance movement, and Hamas.

The toll on Gazan shocks the consciousness of a world that has also witnessed too much of the Israeli regime’s war crimes. The total carnage to date: 1,900 Palestinians dead, more than four-hundred-thirty of them children.

The natural human condition provides Hamas with the third ace: World-wide condemnation of Israel.

Today, August 9, 2014 is a world-wide day of protest in favor of Gaza, Palestine, and a return to humanity. Outrage against Israel is global, and protests in dozens, no, make that scores of cities world-wide are screaming their venom at Israel by the hundreds, the thousands, and tens of  thousands. Quick arithmetic shows today’s world wide outrage in the streets at this very minute to be well over two million. And growing.

The pictures don’t lie.

In London, Lindsey German, convener of Stop the War Coalition, an umbrella group of NGOs, said: “The level of anger is  unprecedented.”

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says the UK government should suspend its arms exports to Israel if the Tel Aviv regime resumes its military attacks on Gaza. Zionist puppet Francoise Holland broke ranks and called for a stop to the genocide. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales called Israel a “Terrorist State”. Everyday more world leaders are forced to make statements condemning Israel despite their master’s purse strings.

Which leads to; the ace of spades. The negotiating table in Cairo, Egypt.

A three-day humanitarian truce took effect at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) Tuesday and Israeli troops withdrew from the coastal enclave.

Israel at first refused to attend the peace negotiations, and after showing up asked for an extension of the cease-fire. Al Arabiya reported that Hamas has said it will not extend the ceasefire beyond 5am Friday. The Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades called on Palestinian negotiators in Cairo not to allow an extension.

Now Hamas has demanded that the opening of Gaza’s port be the first condition to continued peace talks. Israel countered by stating that it will not take part in truce talks while fighting in the Gaza strip is ongoing, to which Hamas fired three rockets in the general direction of their adversaries.

So Israel issued a statement saying it would not return to the negotiations unless their new list of pre-conditions were met first. To which Hamas head negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed, confirming the power of his four aces, replied to an anxious press, “We will leave Cairo tomorrow if it is confirmed to us that they will not return except with conditions.

Without Hamas and the military tactics of Mohammed Deif, the political goals of Gaza autonomy would not be sitting at the table staring the Israeli war criminals squarely right between the eyes.

When next Khaled Meshaal looks into the eyes of the beast known as Israel, he will hold all four aces. Over his shoulder, looking on will be Mohammed Deif along with the ghosts of his mentors Mao, Guevara and history. They, together, have brought this political poker hand to bear upon Israel. The taste of victory, oh so sweet after the carnage, suffering, and pure horror, is in the air. We can taste it.

Four aces can be beaten. Only a fool, however, would bet against it.

For this, Mohammed Deif is, indeed, the most dangerous man in the world.   









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