Mohammed Deif
Mohammed DeifReuters

Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas’ military wing, on Tuesday evening threatened Israel amid the continued clashes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.

In the warning, which was directed toward "the occupation and its people," Deif said that "if the aggression against our people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood does not stop immediately, we will not stand idly by and the enemy will pay a heavy price."

He stressed that this was a "clear and final warning".

Deif’s threat came amid clashes involving dozens of rioters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. Police forces at the scene used riot dispersal means, including a water cannon, against the rioters.

The Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, responded to Deif’s threat and said "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel forever."

"The Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood will develop and expand much, much longer after you leave this world. Whoever raises a hand on Jerusalem will pay the price," he added.

Deif is considered the official who determines the agenda of Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and is regarded as the “brain” behind Hamas. He is had been hiding underground for years, fearing the IDF will try to eliminate him.

In 2014, an Israeli air strike during Operation Protective Edge targeted Deif’s home, but Hamas later said Deif was unharmed in the strike.

Israeli sources subsequently confirmed that Deif survived the elimination attempt and has returned to running Hamas operations.