Mosab Hassan Yousef
Mosab Hassan YousefYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Not for the first time, the son of Hamas founder Hassan Yousef has criticized the way in which Israel conducts its military operations against the terrorist organization in Gaza, and has urged Israeli leaders to continue to strike Hamas even after agreeing to a ceasefire.

In a telephone conversation with the New York Post, Mosab Hassan Yousef said that Israel needs to “teach [Hamas] a lesson … by assassinating its leadership.” He admitted that this “will not destroy Hamas, but it will … hold them accountable. Next time, before you get civilians on both sides involved in a bloodbath, you need to think 1,000 times. This is my personal suggestion.”

Yousef started out life as the son of the co-founder of the Hamas terrorist organization, and seemed poised to become a leader in his own right when he made the decision to defect, seeking asylum in the United States. It later emerged that he had been secretly collaborating with the ISA (Shabak) for ten years prior to his defection, after having become disillusioned both with Hamas and with Islam in general. A year after he moved to America, his younger brother followed in his footsteps.

“The silence of the majority of Gaza is not because they support Hamas, but because they are afraid of Hamas,” Yousef told The Post. “The people live in fear. Hamas rules over them by the sword. If you oppose Hamas they will shoot you or hang you immediately. You and your family are finished.”

It was first-hand exposure to Hamas’ brutal methods toward other Arabs, while in an Israeli prison, that supplied Yousef with the impetus to break off with the organization. He said top Hamas leaders like his father made sure to take good care of themselves during this most recent bout of fighting, while ensuring that civilian deaths occurred in sufficient numbers and were filmed by foreign media sources in order to score propaganda points against Israel.

“Hundreds of children have paid the price,” he said. “Hamas hates Israel more than they love their own children.”

Yousef was also scornful of Hamas’ statements that blamed Israeli actions in Jerusalem – on the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood – for its decision to fire 4,000 rockets into Israel.

“Hamas was very disappointed by the Abraham Accords that ignored them completely,” he told The Post. “It’s the new reality that President Donald Trump made in the region. This is a new reality and Hamas is not prepared to accept it.”

He stressed the new type of diplomacy that Donald Trump, as President, brought to the region, describing how, “The Middle East understood Trump’s language very well. It was the language of fire. He did not show lots of tolerance. The seventh-century mentality of the Middle East misunderstands tolerance as weakness.”

Mosab Yousef told The Post that he has had no contact with his family since 2009, and does not intend to visit his birthplace – it would be a certain death sentence, he said.