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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who is Mohammed Deif and why does Israel want him dead?

For those who don't know yet why Israel is so anxious to see Mohammed Deif dead.
Deif was behind the kidnappings and murders of Israeli soldiers Shahar Simani in April 1994 and Aryeh Frankenthal in July 1994. In October 1994 he played a major role in running the terror cell that kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman: He handed the orders to the cell that held Wachsman in a safe house in the village of Bir Naballah near Jerusalem.
Deif was also involved in the bus bombings that took place during that time. The assassination of Ayyash in December 1995 intensified his desire for revenge. Shortly afterward, Shimon Peres, who was prime minister at the time, and Moshe Ya’alon, the head of the army’s Intelligence Directorate, met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Ya’alon warned Arafat about Deif’s plans and demanded that the PA act decisively against Hamas. Arafat disregarded Ya’alon’s warning, asking Dahlan, “Mohammed, who’s that?”
The Israelis were furious. Officials of the army’s Intelligence Directorate and the Shin Bet security service knew perfectly well that Dahlan had met with Deif shortly before. In the past, Ya’alon cited that meeting as the point when he finally woke up regarding Arafat’s intentions.
Less than two months later, in February 1996, Deif was behind a week of deadly bus bombings in Jerusalem and Ashkelon in which about 50 Israelis were killed. (Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip took responsibility for one of the bus bombings.)
That was the sign for a last-ditch Palestinian attempt to suppress Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The PA arrested hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, including Deif, who spent the following years in and out of prison. Some of the prisoners had half of their beards shaved off to humiliate them. But Deif continued his work from prison in Gaza, and was even released at times by the PA.
Israeli officials accused him of involvement in various attempted terror attacks, including sending five suicide terrorists into Israel in March 2000. Police officers of Yamam, the civilian counter-terrorism unit, killed the five would-be attackers in Taibeh in the Triangle, an area of Israeli Arab towns and villages located between the center of the country and the Haifa region.
The PA released Deif from prison, this time for good, in April 2001, together with dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives. These were the “engineers” who were behind the wave of bombing attacks that took place over the next several months. Most of them, mainly those who lived in the West Bank, were eliminated by Israel.
Deif resumed his natural place in Hamas, subordinate to Shehadeh (who had been released from an Israeli prison in 2000). He established a relatively secret, independent group of his own within Hamas’s military wing to carry out terror attacks. This group’s members, who were under his direct command, specialized in missions that it defined as “high-quality attacks,” such as the series of attacks on Elei Sinai and Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip, in which three Israelis were killed.
An indictment submitted to the military court at the Erez border crossing in 2000 charged Deif with direct involvement in planning severe terror attacks in the Gaza Strip. According to the indictment, Deif was behind the terror attack on the pre-army academy in Atzmona in Gush Katif in March 2000, killing five of the students there. He also issued orders, directed the operations personally and was involved to the last detail in “routine” terror attacks, even preparing the explosive device himself in one case. In other cases, he taught operatives how to prepare explosive devices.
Read the whole thing. We have too many reasons to want Deif dead. Hopefully, if it did not happen last night, it will happen soon.

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