“The Masked One,” “The Spokesman for the Nation,” “The Title of Psychological Warfare,” and “The Battle Dictionary,” are several nicknames given by the masses to the military spokesman for the Martyr Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, “Abu Ubaida,” who had the voice that people memorized well in all rounds. The confrontation between the occupation and the resistance in Gaza.
During the “Al-Aqsa Flood” battle, he became a symbol and a symbol of the voice of the field and its events, and over the years his red mask remained the prominent sign of resistance.
A voice from the time of the uprising
Although many sources indicate that Abu Ubaida's first appearance was at the conference announcing the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Operation Shattered Illusion in 2006, the masked man's beginnings and his media profile preceded this conference by years.
Abu Ubaida appeared in the years 2002-2003 in video publications for the Al-Qassam Brigades. He was then identified as “a commander in the Al-Qassam Brigades,” before he appeared in a press conference for the first time from inside the “Al-Nour” Mosque in the northern Gaza Strip, during the “Days of Rage” battle. In 2004, it was launched by the resistance factions in response to the occupation’s invasion of the northern Gaza Strip in an operation called “Days of Regret.”
During his first appearance, wearing a green battalion band and a black mask, Abu Ubaida spoke to reporters about the course of the battle, and highlighted the operations carried out by the battalions individually or in partnership with the resistance factions. He also displayed a number of weapons used to repel the invasion, and the remains of vehicles destroyed by the resistance in the northern Gaza Strip. .
Following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Abu Ubaida officially held the status of “media spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades,” and appeared on the program Hosted by Venice, which was shown by Al Jazeera. He also conducted interviews about the future of the Brigades and their role after the Israeli withdrawal, with a number of media outlets and newspapers. And Arab and local news sites that expanded their reach during that period.
Abu Ubaida, the official voice of the Al-Qassam Brigades, remained present in statements adopting the brigades’ operations, or delivering the military wing’s messages, and directing threats to the occupation and its settlers, the most prominent of which was “turning the Sderot settlement into a ghost town” in June 2006, in response to the escalation of the occupation’s aggression against Gaza Strip, and a statement announcing the capture of soldier Shalit.
During the conference adopting the “Field of Death” commando operation in April 2008, Abu Ubaida stated: “The options presented to the Zionist soldier when he enters the Gaza Strip are 4 options: either he will be killed, he will be captured, he will be permanently disabled, or he will return.” “With a mental illness forever, he will not return victorious in any way.”
The thundering sound of battle
After the occupation began its first war on the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009, which was called “Cast Lead,” and the resistance called it “The Battle of the Criterion,” the role of “Abu Ubaida” emerged for the first time in being the military spokesman for the ongoing war, and the official voice of the resistance in announcing Official statements, addressing the home front and the Arab peoples, and revealing the occupation’s losses and the performance of fighters on the ground.
In subsequent wars, the visible appearance of Abu Ubaida and his war statements from the heart of aggression were linked to human beings from the field. Every breaking news about an expected speech was a clear indication of achievements that would be announced. This was later repeated in his statements during the Battle of Shale Stones in 2012, and his announcement for the first time that Al-Qassam used anti-aircraft missiles against the occupation.
The third war on Gaza in 2014, which the resistance called the “Eating Storm” battle, represented the peak of the masked man’s appearance and the broader presence of his military statements, the most prominent of which was his historic speech in July of that year, in which he announced the capture of soldier “Shaul Aaron.” Pointing out that the occupation ignored for hours the official announcement of this operation and its results, an announcement that came to soothe the hearts of the people of Gaza after the bloody Shujaiya massacre committed by the occupation on the night of Aaron’s captivity.
During the Battle of the “Devouring Storm”, the extent of the field and moral impact of Abu Ubaida's appearances became clear, and many video clips were seen showing the crowds gathering to listen to his statements and words in the West Bank, Jordan, and the Lebanese camps, and chanting his name in demonstrations and points of confrontation.
In that year, the occupation became aware of the size of Abu Ubaida’s presence, his symbolism, and his influence on the conscience of people who supported the resistance option, so it launched a media campaign against him, during which he claimed to reveal his identity and personal data.
Al-Aqsa Satellite Channel was also subjected to piracy and infiltration by the occupation army, during which an alleged picture of Hudhayfah Al-Kahlot, whom the occupation claims is the military spokesman for Al-Qassam, was shown.
News agencies also circulated brief information about him holding a master's degree in the fundamentals of religion, residing in northern Gaza, and that his house was bombed several times, while the Al-Qassam Brigades did not comment on any of these allegations.
As the years passed, Abu Ubaida maintained rare appearances and brief press conferences, held to comment on political or field issues related to the resistance, including statements he delivered after the assassination of Tunisian engineer Muhammad al-Zawari, and a comment on Operation “Edge of the Sword” in 2019 and the completion of the Qassam at that time. By detecting and clashing with an Israeli special force, and killing and wounding a number of its members in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.
From conferences to digital platforms
In April 2020, the Al-Qassam Brigades launched a private channel on the “Telegram” application, bearing the name “Abu Ubaida – the military spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades,” to be an additional channel for broadcasting the masked man’s statements and statements, and later his text tweets, which after a few months would become one of his modes of appearance. His new song, which is followed by more than half a million subscribers.
On June 25, 2020, the first message was published on the channel, which included the word “Abu Ubaida” on the anniversary of Operation “Shattered Illusion” and the capture of soldier Shalit.
Almost a year later, on May 4, 2021, the channel published the second message entitled “The Final Warning,” which included a greeting addressed by Chief of Staff Muhammad Al-Deif to the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and a clear warning to the occupation.
The second message was followed by a third message 4 days later, renewing greetings to the people of Jerusalem and those stationed in Al-Aqsa. Then came the message of threat and ultimatum to the occupation on May 10, which was followed two hours later by the announcement of the opening missile strike of the “Sword of Jerusalem” battle.
The Battle of Saif al-Quds received a new style of appearance for Abu Ubaida, via text tweets, and interaction with the events of the field with brief messages showing the battalions’ follow-up of all developments. The battle also included recorded audio words of him and visual appearances throughout the 11 days of the battle.
During the years that followed the “Saif al-Quds” battle, Abu Ubaida continued sending text messages and brief tweets about developments in the Palestinian scene, and what related to the occupation’s attacks on Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, commenting on its crimes and hinting at an expected response from the Palestinian resistance, led by Al-Qassam, regarding these ongoing attacks, in addition to To acknowledge some of the guerrilla operations that took place in the West Bank, and to lament their perpetrators.
In the days of the flood
October 8, 2023, on the second day of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” battle, Abu Ubaida sent a brief audio message about the occupation prisoners, followed by a long recorded speech more than two hours later, and was followed by the appearance of the military spokesman periodically throughout the days of the battle, with audio and video messages. And text tweets.
Abu Ubaida was, and still is, the voice of Palestinian fighters and the message of the Palestinian resistance, which carried honesty and truth in its words, especially with regard to the failed occupation operations to liberate its prisoners, and the statements of the killing of detainees through aerial bombardment or field raids.
Today, Abu Ubaida represents the face and voice of the media war. His presence and wide popularity have become prominent in the Arab countries and the world, and his iconic appearance in the red keffiyeh, the Palestinian flag, and the military uniform are features of a character whose name has been preserved for generations, and peoples have sung about in poetry and poems and cheered for him in demonstrations, marches, and events.