Israel-Loving Ex-Terrorist in Open Visit
Mosab Hassan Yousef’s life has been far from simple. Born in Ramallah to the founder and leader of Hamas, he made an about-face as a young adult and for several years helped Israel fight terrorism.
Yousef later converted to Christianity and moved to the United States. He wrote a book about his life story, titled Son of Hamas.
Now he is making his first open trip to Israel, as a guest of Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara. “I want to tell the people of Israel that I love you,” he said in an interview with Channel 2 television.
“I don’t think there was ever something called ‘Palestine,’” he continued. “I don’t think that what my people needs is a state – they need freedom.”
Yousef was asked about his father, Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef. He said he sees his father as “a lost soul.”
He has previously warned Israel against attempting peace with Hamas. “Based on the values according to which Hamas operates, Israel cannot allow itself to compromise for a 30-year ‘hudna,’” he said, using the Arabic term for a temporary peace.
Yousef’s former handler, then-Shin Bet intelligence services agent Gonen Ben-Yitzchak, gave an interview as well. “People like Mosab, whose identities are revealed only on very rare occasions, struggle there so that Israelis can move freely here and live peacefully,” he said.