Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hamas says military chief alive, calling shots in Gaza war


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas said on Wednesday its military commander Muhammad Deif was alive and still calling the shots in the ongoing war with Israel in and around Gaza.

"The head of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades Abu Khaled is still alive and leading the military operation," a source close to the Islamist movement told AFP, using Deif's nom-de-guerre.

His remarks were made after an Israeli air strike leveled a six-story house in Gaza City, killing Deif's wife and infant son.

It was not immediately clear whether Deif had also been killed or injured in the strike, which also killed another woman and a teenager.

Israeli military sources had earlier told Fox News that the leader had been killed in the strike as well, in what would have potentially been a major blow for the group.

Muhammad Deif has been an active leader in Hamas' military wing for decades, and has long been an extremely mysterious figure in the Palestinian resistance movement.

He is said to live completely underground from where he directs Hamas military actions, and a photograph has not been taken of him in decades. more

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