Hamas has “blood on its hand” and is to blame for the current carnage in the Middle East, the son of one of the organisation’s founders has said.
Mosab Hassan Yousef’s father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, is a well-known leader of the militant group but the pair have been estranged for many years because of their differing views on the Palestinian question.
Mr Yousef, who is sometimes called 'The Green Prince', said he will always love his father but he began to question his belief in violence when he spent time in an Israeli prison as a teenager.
“I spent a long time with Hamas leaders where they tortured many Palestinian prisoners… their own members on suspicion of collaboration with Israel,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“It was the great trauma of my life, a shocking reality to see my father’s organisation and how they treated our own people.
“Long story short, I started questioning Hamas and after I left prison… I got involved with Israeli intelligence and I got reported suicide bombing attacks voluntarily.”
Mr Yousef said his father considered his decision to work for the Israelis a huge “betrayal” but does not regret it and considers it the only “human thing” he could have done.
“I protected his life as much as I could with everything that I had,” he said.
“When things were messy in the West Bank and assassinations were happening on a regular basis, because of my involvement with Israeli intelligence my father’s life was saved and Israeli intelligence did not touch him.”
Some have suggested Mr Yousef was groomed into working for the Israelis but he is emphatic that he did it of his own free will.
“For me, it was a pleasure,” he said.
“I cannot even describe it.”
Since Hamas kidnapped and murdered over a thousand Israelis on October 7th, IDF airstrikes have killed some 9,000 Gazans.
Some TDs have urged the Government to expel the Israeli Ambassador and impose economic sanctions on the country.
It is a suggestion that Mr Yousef has no time for.
“I think the blood is on Hamas’ hands,” he said.
“[They] use Palestinians as human shields; I don’t know how [else] Israel would approach such barbaric members who are hiding in schools, hospitals and among civilians, launching missiles and launching deadly attacks against Israel.
“Any of those genius people who are making the judgement, what would be their solution to dealing with such a crisis?
“Please, suggest to me what would be the perfect solution to dealing with such a barbaric organisation that are using their own children as human shields?”
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected once again calls for a ceasefire until Hamas releases all hostages.
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Main image: Mosab Hassan Yousef. Picture by: Alamy.com