A new book by the son of a Hamas founder claims Mosab Hassan Yousef spent a decade spying for the Israeli Shin Bet, providing information that helped thwart countless attacks and led to the arrest or killing of Hamas leaders.
Son of Hamas is scheduled to be released next week by Tyndall House Publishers, a Christian oriented publisher. Yousef left the West Bank in 2007 and, a year later, announced that he had converted to Christianity. His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was among Hamas's founders.
According to an interview in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, "Yousef was the Shin Bet's most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname 'the Green Prince' - using the color of the Islamist group's flag, and 'prince' because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement's founders."
The Haaretz story quotes Yousef's former Shin Bet handler, who describes just a few examples of Yousef's life-saving information and actions. In one, he helped Shin Bet officials intercept a suicide bomb belt handed off to a would-be terrorist in the West Bank.
"So many people owe him their life and don't even know it," said the handler, named in Yousef's book as Captain Loai. "People who did a lot less were awarded the Israel Security Prize. He certainly deserves it."
Yousef expresses a desire to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but doubts it can happen with Hamas in power. The group's rigid theological and political ideology makes compromise impossible:
"The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis. Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does."
The full interview appears Friday in the Haaretz magazine.