Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal broke protocol and directly contacted the head of the military wing in the Gaza Strip, Muhammad Deif, to discuss a ceasefire with Israel, a call that was intercepted by Israeli intelligence giving away Deif’s location, Lebanese media claimed on Thursday.
News1, citing Lebanese media, reported that the call may have enabled Israeli intelligence to pinpoint Deif, who has been in hiding for years in Gaza. There was no confirmation of the report, which was also carried by Israel’s Channel 10 news.
Shortly after the contact, the report stated, Israel authorized an air strike Tuesday night on a Gaza City residence in which Deif’s wife, son and daughter were killed. It has not yet been confirmed if Deif was killed in the strike. Israeli officials have said there was firm intelligence that Deif was there; Hamas claims he is still alive but has produced no sign of life.
According to Palestinian sources cited in the report, Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, was being pressured to agree to an Egyptian ceasefire proposal but wished to consult directly with Deif, and did so contrary to established Hamas secrecy protocols.
Read more: The Times of Israel