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The Shadow: Hamas’s hidden commander

The Shadow: Hamas’s hidden commander


Mohammed Deif – thought to be the mastermind behind Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 – hasn’t been seen in public for 20 years and no one’s even sure if he’s still alive. When the enemy is more of an idea than a person, who do you end up fighting?

Why This Story?

In the days after the devastating October 7 attack on Israel, Hamas’s leaders, many of whom live abroad in the gulf, admitted they weren’t given any warning  about the attack before it happened. It looks like Mohammed Deif, the head of the military wing of the organisation, is calling the shots in Hamas these days.

And that shift in leadership is having devastating repercussions for the Palestinians and for Israelis – and possibly for the rest of us too.

To understand how it was that a group of men from a desperately poor area managed to overcome one of the most sophisticated security services in the world you need to try to get inside the leadership of Hamas to understand both the military operation and also the political operation inside Gaza. 

The man who sits at the intersection of both of those things is Mohammed Deif.