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Hamas founder’s son says Israel should assassinate Hamas leaders

The IDF's paratroopers brigade operate within the Gaza Strip to find and disable Hamas' network terror tunnels and eliminate their threat to Israeli civilians. (Israel Defense Forces/Released)
May 24, 2021

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of the Hamas terror group’s founder, advised Israel to continue targeting Hamas’ leadership after Hamas and Israel reached a new ceasefire agreement Friday after 11 days of Hamas rocket attacks and retaliatory Israeli strikes.

In an interview with the New York Post on Saturday, Yousef said that while Israel and Hamas have reached a ceasefire, Israel should continue to target Hamas leadership to punish the group for launching the rocket attacks.

“Assassinating Hamas leadership will not destroy Hamas, but it will teach them a lesson and hold them accountable,” Yousef said. “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 converted from Islam to Christianity and worked undercover for Israel’s Shin Ben security service, helping to incarcerate his father Sheikh Hassan Yousef, who founded Hamas. Upon escaping from prison in 2010, the Hamas founder denounced his son, saying he “disbelieved in God…and collaborated with our enemies.”

In his new interview with the New York Post, Yousef said that after initiating the rocket attacks against Israel, Hamas leaders like his father likely rode out the Israeli retaliatory strikes from the security of underground bunkers, while using the deaths of their own people to further propaganda messages in their favor and against Israel.

By the time Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire agreement, the Washington Post reported an estimated 248 Palestinians and 12 Israelis had been killed and hundreds more had been injured.

“Hundreds of children have paid the price,” Yousef said. “These type of people cannot get away with what they did. They should not feel safe for a day. Hamas hates Israel more than they love their own children.”

Yousef also attributed the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas to Hamas feeling marginalized after the Abraham Accords, negotiated by President Donald Trump’s administration, saw new peace agreements between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries.

“Hamas was very disappointed by the Abraham Accords that ignored them completely,” he said of the peace deals Israel signed with several Mideast states last year. “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.”

Yousef had once been groomed by his father to become a prominent leader in Hamas, but after ending up in an Israeli jail in the 90s, he turned against the group after other Hamas inmates lead a campaign to find and torture suspected Israeli collaborators.

“During that time, Hamas tortured and killed hundreds of prisoners,” he said. “Many, if not all, had nothing to do with Israeli intelligence. I will never forget their screams. I started asking myself a question. What if Hamas succeeded in destroying Israel and building a state. Will they destroy our people in this way?”

While Hamas was democratically elected into power in 2006, Yousef said the group is not as popular as they might appear.

“The silence of the majority of Gaza is not because they support Hamas, but because they are afraid of Hamas,” he said. “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.”