Hamas releases recording of military chief urging Muslims to ‘liberate Al-Aqsa’

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Hamas military wing commander Muhammad Deif. (courtesy)
Hamas military wing commander Muhammad Deif. (courtesy)

Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas’s military wing, releases a short audio recording exhorting Muslims to “join the fight to liberate Al-Aqsa.” The remarks appear to be from a recording of Deif published on October 7, when Al Jazeera broadcast his announcement of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” attack against Israel, in which Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 and took 253 as hostages.

In the recording aired today, which is only 35 seconds long, Deif addresses Muslims in a number of Arab and Muslim countries: “To our people in Jordan and Lebanon, in Egypt, Algeria, and the Maghreb, in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

“Start marching now, not tomorrow, toward Palestine, and do not let borders, regimes, and restrictions deprive you of the honor of waging jihad and taking part in the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he says. He concludes his short speech with a Quranic quote: “March forth whether it is easy or difficult for you, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.”

The shadowy commander of Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, Deif has been on Israel’s most-wanted list since 1995 for his involvement in the planning and execution of a large number of terror attacks, including many bus bombings in the 1990s and early 2000s. He has survived at least seven assassination attempts over the years.

He is believed to have played a central role in the shock October 7 massacre in southern Israel, and to be currently hiding in tunnels under Gaza.

Echoing Deif’s brief remarks, Hamas top politburo member Khaled Mashal gave a speech in Jordan earlier today urging Muslims around the world to support Hamas’s struggle so that “their blood will mix with the blood of the people of Palestine.”

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