JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel arrested a top Hamas leader in the West Bank, accusing him of inciting terror attacks.
Hassan Yousef was taken in early Tuesday morning near his home in Ramallah in a joint operation of the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service.
“Yousef has been actively instigating and inciting terrorism and publicly encouraging and praising the execution of attacks against Israelis,” the IDF said in a statement, noting that he has been arrested and imprisoned “multiple times.”
“Hamas’ leaders cannot expect to propagate violence and terror from the comfort of their living rooms and pulpits of their mosques. When you encourage, promote and praise the death of the innocent, the IDF will act swiftly in order to contain the hateful incitement that jeopardizes the safety and well-being of so many Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
Yousef’s son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, served for more than a decade as the Shin Bet’s most valuable source on Hamas. He detailed his years of spying for the security service in his autobiography, Son of Hamas.
Mosab Yousef converted to Christianity 15 years ago and left the West Bank in 2007 for California, where he now lives.
Yousef disowned his son in 2010.