Hassan Yousef, a leading Hamas terror activist, has been arrested as the IDF sweeps Judea in search of three missing teens – Gilad Sha'ar, 16, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.
Yousef's son, Mossab, became an Israeli informant and converted to Christianity. He authored the book “Son of Hamas” and was disowned by his father.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz said Sunday that "In the course of the last 24 hours, we have widened our activity, arrested many dozens of Hamas activists, including members of the Legislative Council, the most senior of which is Hassan Yousef, one of the heads of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.”
"We will continue with great force, with the participation of large forces from all of Judea and Samaria. We will not spare any effort, with the goal of bringing the boys back home always on our minds.”
Yousef served as Hamas's spokesman in the past and has served several stints in Israeli jail. He was freed from jail in August of 2011 after serving six years there, during which he had been elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was rearrested and jailed later that year, for belonging to an illegal organization, and freed in early 2014.
He said upon his release that a third Arab armed uprising – or intifada – is just a matter of time.
Speaking to Channel 2 News, Yousef said that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas does not represent anyone other than himself. "All the organizations of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, are opposed to negotiations with Israel," he declared.
“The intifada will not wait for anyone,” warned Yousef. “If it doesn’t happen today then it will happen tomorrow, if not this month then next month. Eventually – just as the First Intifada and the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out – another one could break out.”
Hassan Yousef disowned his son in a letter sent during a previous term in an Israeli prison. Mossab relocated to the US, changed his name to Joseph and converted to Christianity. He wrote about his experiences in Son of Hamas, and addressed the Knesset last June. “Hamas murders not only Israelis,” he told MKs, “but also Palestinians whose political stance is different from that which its group promotes – that is, its radical religious outlook in which Islam is the solution to the world's problems.”