The Lion of Palestine Returns! Hamas Commander Mohammed Deif. By: Brett Redmayne-Titley.

                The Lion of Palestine Returns! Hamas Commander Mohammed Deif.

By: Brett Redmayne-Titley.

This is an enemy that murders children and mothers in their homes, in their beds, an enemy that abducts the elderly, children and young women, that slaughters and massacres our citizens, including children, who simply went out to enjoy the holiday.”

                                                             – Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

The hypocrisy of this statement is breathtaking. While fluffing his orthodox masters Netanyahu turned truth and three generations of factual war crimes by Israel on its head.

Every example listed- and far too many more- has been utilized by the revolving door of nefarious and pandering Israeli stewards as routine weapons against Palestinians- north and south- for generations. That Hamas, this past Saturday, has scored for its people a massive, historic and Hizballah-like victory against this relentless oppression is an irony not lost on the proper conscience of man, the Palestinians and all world citizens.

Bibi missed the joke. Well, he’s getting it now.

To understand the necessity for the current military operation by Hamas, it is important to refer to the victory by Hamas against Israel in 2014 and the commander whose leadership and tactics achieved that sacrificial victory.

Sadly, that military and potentially political victory was short-lived; cast aside by Israel and ignored by world leaders once the inconvenient dust of humanity had settled from their minds.

It was at this moment that Hamas began to prepare. Again.

That victory nine years ago, and this Saturday’s very successful opening salvo,by Hamas have Israel and the world scrambling in shock. Both these successes can be attributed directly to the leadership of the “Lion of Palestine.”

In the previously ravaged streets of Gaza and the ever-shrinking hills of the West Bank, Palestinians- in desperation- chant his name. On the walls of the Palestinian refugee camps I have seen in southern Lebanon his name  spray painted-in hope– beneath yellow flags bearing the logo of Hamas. In prayer services across Palestine, his name is invoked, begging for his return, the return of Palestine and… salvation from the horrors of Zionist occupation.

This man is never seen. A man several times reported dead. A man who is and has been for thirty years public enemy #1. One who has answered Israeli barbarity, apartheid, and genocide many times before. His strategies, and his knowledge of Guerrilla warfare, has brought Israel to its knees.

This true champion of Palestine- unlike Fattah- has seemed the only hope.

 But he has been missing in action- unheard from- since called to action in the 2014 war:  When Israel decided to again “cut the grass…” Meaning the civilian population of Palestine.

Where has he been, this “Lion of Palestine?” 

As of a new dawn on Saturday, October 7, 2023, he is back!

His name is….Mohammed Deif?

              “Without an army for the people, there is nothing for the people.”

                                                                          -Mao Tse-tung (“On Guerrilla Warfare”)

During the 2014 invasion of Gaza by Israel- which included massive US military support-  Gaza was thus confronted with two of the most militaristic and expansionist global powers on earth. A horrified world looked on in hand-wringing anguish as Israel- after sustaining unimaginable military losses- indiscriminately day after day attempted to raze the civilian population to the ground.

After watching for weeks as Israel destroyed civilian Palestinian property, infrastructure and innocent lives in the thousands, the sane world breathed a long overdue sigh of relief when Hamas, as the only military to successfully defend Gaza, commanded these villains of inhumanity to cease fire and to the negotiating table in Cairo.

The iron-fisted leader of Hamas, Mohammed Deif, was then closer than ever before to a final victory of the autonomy for Gaza and a national victory for the nation of Palestine, and… for the civilized world.

However,  immediately after an agreement was reached, Israeli influence, Arab nations’ hypocrisy (particularly Egypt which controls one of the three border crossings) Palestinian Authority (PA) treachery and US worldwide coercion fucked the whole thing up!

Again, just months later, Israeli warplanes returned to indiscriminately targeting Gaza civilians. At the same time, Israeli soldiers switched from tear gas to live ammo to quell the spirits of Palestinians who do not accept the theft of their rightful capital, Jerusalem by a fawning US President, Donald Trump. Post-war funds for rebuilding Gaza were diverted away at Israeli request. Water supplies were again cut off repeatedly, as was electricity as punishment. Their land was seized regularly and replaced with more and more illegal settlements. All borders remained closed. Medical supplies scarce and foreign aid restricted. Disease routine. Poverty endemic. Apartheid rampant.

Genocide, obvious!

Yet, as expected the leaders of the world returned to doing nothing.  Except for fellating Israel on command.

And that was nine years ago. The reasons for war have incrementally returned, and now so has their leader in a bold military operation worthy of the name they chant. A first move worthy of the annals of the very best in guerrilla warfare.

So, who is this champion of Palestine?

The Israeli-controlled media, having few facts about Mohammed Deif, much less any willingness to expand on the reasons for Israel’s 2014 direct military defeat, tries to vilify Mohammed Deif with vague general terms like “shadowy,” and “relatively unknown.” A myopic press misses the most important and accurate description of this life-long champion of the Palestinian people: “military scholar,” a student of guerrilla warfare: the tactics that once before brought victory.

Historically this effective military strategy has given freedom and nationalism to many oppressed peoples. Guerrilla warfare has built nations. What would South Africa’s quest for nationalism be without the armed resistance from 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 of 1954-59, Mohammed Deif had, in 2014, by similar necessity made his mentors very proud indeed. Palestine has been under the barbaric oppression of societal Israeli torture before, during, and ever since. An oppression that long ago crossed the lines of inhumanity and human conscience. Right through Gaza.

Hence, the historical need for Hamas.

Guerrilla warfare, however, is more than guns and bloodshed. Designed to terminally conquer oppression, victory requires a chess game that transcends mere military strategy directly into political cunning.

Mohammed Deif, while presumably in an unknown bunker deep under Gaza, can reflect on losing his wife and daughter to an Israeli tank shell with his name on it. He had once, as predicted by history and the practices of Mao and Guevara, turned the horror of the 2014 month-long legend of Israeli blood-lust in Gaza into what was, in the immediate aftermath of the war, a strong political negotiating position for all of Palestine.


But that was too long ago.

Proof of that Hamas victory was easily shown in the 2014 war’s ultimate cease-fire; one that was finally called for by Israel after the US vetoed two similar UNSC resolutions. Due to unexpectedly large Israeli troop casualties like his nation, Netanyahu on TV was so much like his nation: drawn, tired, and confused about the facts, his arrogant sneer conspicuously missing, relegated to making excuses and assigning blame. His brash confidence was shot, sent to the bottom of his desk’s trash can along with the shreds of that week’s sudden and shocking Israeli media revelations: 1600 wounded Israeli soldiers to go with at least sixty-four dead. And piles and piles of military wreckage.

Netanyahu is surely reminding himself now that although it was he who then began that month’s prolonged populist barbarity that morning’s Israeli public approval poll regarding his most recent series of war crimes had plummeted to just 60%- not because of his resultant horrors, but because he failed to meet Israeli expectations of finally completing their popular demand for genocide.

Oh, the “sorrows of empire!” What more can a war criminal do?

(It must be noted here that Bibi’s excuse for invasion- that three settler youth had been kidnapped and killed by Hamas- was shown to be utter rubbish)

For Israel, these Hamas military and political victories at the time further emboldened worldwide opposition to Zionist expansion. Throughout Palestine and across the globe, the consciousness of the world was further wakened by the threat of Israel, with the horrific images of the Gaza innocent now firmly, and temporarily, in their mind.

The BDS movement skyrocketed accordingly.

Mohammed Deif had shown national leadership in what seemed a resounding victory for Hamas and for Gaza. And for the nation of Palestine.

For that, Mohammed Deif was- too long ago- the most dangerous man in Palestine.

                                 “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 the 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 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 while the latter continued to rise in the command structure of Hamas.

According to Israel’s DebkaFiles 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 six times, increasing his legend, and earning the nickname, “the cat with nine lives.” The sixth time, they killed his wife and daughter instead.

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 movement’s spiritual leader Ahmad Yassin were meeting. The men were on the building’s bottom floor and escaped with light injuries.

The 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 and has reportedly moved about Gaza on his own without detection. Since there are no recent pictures of him, this may work well and shows the kind of brass he brought to his leadership of Hamas.

Only two top Hamas figures know where he is and only one, former Gaza Prime Minister Haniyeh is thought, at that time, to have been able to have direct contact with him. Though rarely seen, Deif controls Hamas’ political and military assets with a tight grip. The Hamas military council and general staff wait for his blessing before taking any measures. The same deference was shown by the Hamas external politburo chief Khaled Meshaal; Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh; and the chief of the 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 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.”


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 imperial countries with nothing more than an ill-equipped insurgent army and the will to fight and resist. And tunnels. Miles and miles of tunnels. Why?

For their country.

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

For his people.

Reportedly Marcos carried with him at all times the two most important bibles of military craft; the ones that have already served history- and nations-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 its 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 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 mould of Hezbollah, which thrashed their own Israeli opposition into a cease-fire in Lebanon in 2006 and twice previously. Likewise, Hamas’ strength is in its ability to carry out quickly complex lethal mobile 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 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. Reportedly, today expropriated US weaponry from Afghanistan and Syria have provided Hamas with stocks of far more developed defenses.

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.

Now Hamas, as part of its military action- like Israel- now holds and controls the fate of possibly thousands of Israelis, civilian and military, as bargaining chips in captivity.

Further, the towns that Israel’s lapdog media are calling “Israeli” are nothing more than settlements built on stolen Palestinian land. It is reported that some Palestinians have set foot on these lands for the first time in seventy-five years.

Justice, like revenge, is best served up cold. For Mohammed Deif, slowly chewing on the successes of the first three days, the flavour is sweetening nicely.

                            “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.”

IndeedSuch as the fraudulent Cairo peace talks. 

At that time in 2014, and signaling defeat militarily, Israel asked for an extension of the war’s initial seventy-two-hour cease-fire. Mohammed Deif’s military victory had been the necessary precursor to the ultimate goal of political victory: Freedom for Gaza. However, this short-term victory was turned by others who turned into defeat…politically!

Hamas had inflicted severe damage to the overwhelming might of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli economy. The Israeli people were shocked to reality at the news of the 1600-plus severely injured IDF soldiers. (Reports indicate that the official Israeli death toll, which was stated to be sixty-four, was a low-ball fabrication). Hence, it was no wonder that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz went so far as to   declare, “Now [the IDF] move into a period of rehabilitation.”

Israel’s war, Operation Protective Edge, cost the Israeli economy some $1.44 billion, its central bank governor Karnit Flug said. He assessed that it would reach up to around 0.5 per cent of GDP, which is up to 5 billion shekels, he told Israel Channel Ten television at the time.

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.”

Predictably, since the 2014 betrayal, the ranks of Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades are swelling.

Of course, they are!

Your new-born child, or your mother, or your brother, or your sister, grandmother, brother, aunt, uncle, or just perhaps your entire family has been, at one time or the other, blown to bits or crushed to death by an unapologetic demon that celebrates, very publicly its genocide.

What does a man do who has lost so much?

Reluctantly, faced with no remaining choice other than surrender and therefore with nothing to lose, that man, he picks up a gun. He joins Hamas.

Press TV, in interviews with Gazans during the weeks after the war, reported that despite the destruction of the Gaza Strip by Israeli horrors, Palestinians remain loyal to the resistance movement, and to Hamas.

The toll on Gazans shocked the consciousness of a world that has also witnessed too much of the Israeli regime’s war crimes, before and after. The total 2014 war carnage alone: over 2100 Palestinians dead, more than four-hundred-thirty of them children.

Hence, worldwide condemnation of Israel continues to grow. It will again. Because it should.

The post-war, August 9, 2014, a worldwide day of protest in favor of Gaza, Palestine, Zionism and a return to humanity saw millions join mass protests in cities in virtually every nation on earth. Outrage against Israel is global and growing with each new atrocity. The pictures did not lie.

Now that it factually appears that Israel completely controls US foreign policy as applied to Palestine, the desperation of its people and its need for the return of its champion is understandable. Consider: US president Trump- who is no stranger to Israeli knee pads- functionally abandoned any potential two-state solution- candy to the Likudists- and has anointed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel while simultaneously cutting off US aid to Palestine and the UN’s UNRWA while accusing the Palestinians of disrespect for not going to their slaughter willingly. His actions, of course, have further emboldened the Israelis who rang in the New Year, on Dec 31, 2017, by voting within the Likud Central Committee to seize the remainder of the West Bank not already stolen, despite multiple UN resolutions against that, and then returning to shooting and jailing children as young as 13 years old who also peacefully demand freedom instead of life in a deteriorating national prison.

Reportedly, Mohammed Deif is in failing health due to the summation of his many injuries. Previous speculation of his death during his absence has obviously been highly exaggerated.

Al-Monitor news service reported in 2017 that two familiar Hamas figures have taken over direct command of Hamas — Deif’s long-time deputy, Marwan Issa, and Gaza’s new Hamas political leader, Yahya Sinwar who was released as part of the 2011 prisoner swap. Deif holds a new title, “liaison between the military and political wing,” meaning that he remains the de facto head of the military wing. Deif still holds the title of “Commander” in name, by virtue of his past glory and, if nothing else, he remains the soul of Palestinian resistance.

Without Hamas and the military tactics of Mohammed Deif, the hope for the political goals for Gaza autonomy would be again staring the Israeli war criminals squarely right between the eyes as they did at the negotiation table in post-war 2014.

 Yes, the Israelis and their worldwide minions have, until Saturday, flipped over that peace table. There is only one way to right that table.

History applied to systemic oppression and genocide has proved one predictable result: Any man, when beaten, staved, cornered,  threatened and whose future has been robbed and guaranteed death for him and his family the only promise, any man has only one remaining choice…to fight!

                                  Justice and History Served. (The next 72 Hours…)   

Indeed, Saturday, Oct 7 will be forever an historic day for Palestinian resistance. That day is just  beginning.

Already the Zionist-controlled world media is demanding that the mind of those of proper conscience believe their spin, ignore the past history of Israeli aggression and genocide and fail to understand the need- the absolute necessity- of Hamas’ latest military demand for freedom in Palestine.

There is great depth to this developing story and it must be reported correctly. It must become a rallying cry, not just from Gaza but from the civilized world, “FREE PALESTINE!”

This reporter is one of the very few journalists to have managed to stand within meters of the Lebanon/ Israel and Lebanon/Syria border, looking out over the stolen valley to the south and the war zone to the East. Hizballah country. My past work kept me from getting into Gaza or the West Bank. But it was my work that got me safe passage to the Lebanese borders and the observations I documented in a previous series.

Hizballah is a very important part of this new war. This will be shown in the coming days as it has already been with the destruction of Israeli radar towers just across the Southern border.

As this new series begins, expect updates that show the realities on the ground during this new Intifada. It can be expected that the Israeli reaction to Saturday will not confront Hamas directly. Like the Americans, the Israelis hate body bags. Netanyahu’s promised land war is already on hold for the moment, but Israeli air power is again destroying Gaza piecemeal.

Israeli reaction will be a return to the only type of diplomacy Israel and its ultra-Orthodox zealots have prescribed for Palestine…


(More to come…)    

                                                                       -THE END-

About the Author: Brett Redmayne-Titley has spent the last twelve years travelling to and documenting the “Sorrows of Empire.” He has authored over 200 articles all of which have been published and often republished and translated by news agencies worldwide. An archive of his published work can be found at  He can be contacted for interviews or comments at live-on-scene ((@))

The author’s new book, “THERE!” is just out. 18 chapters of the best in old-style on-scene reporting from hot-spots around the world. Please support my work by purchasing a copy from Amazon Books.  All donations are greatly appreciated.

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