Missiles fired in the first Israeli airstrike on Hamas leader Muhammad Deif’s house on August 20 failed to detonate, and the chief of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades could have escaped before the second bombing leveled the building shortly thereafter, Channel 2 reported Sunday.
According to the report, the Hamas military leader may have been able to escape his home between the two airstrikes with the help of aides, which would explain the apparent uncertainty among Israeli leaders as to whether Deif is alive or not.
The strike killed the wife and two children of Deif, but it remains unclear whether Deif himself was hit.
Earlier on Sunday. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested that Deif is dead, saying that “if, until today, we haven’t heard his voice on a tape and we haven’t seen any sign of life from him, there is room for optimism.”
A day after Deif was targeted, Israel successfully assassinated three senior Hamas commanders, including the head of Hamas’s southern command in the Gaza Strip, in Rafah. Both Israel and Hamas confirmed the deaths of Muhammad Abu Shamala, Rafah commander Raed al-Attar, and senior weapons smuggler Muhammad Barhum.