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Last updated: 3 march, 2010 - 11:51 GMT

Hamas founder's son 'spied for Israel'

Mosab Hassan Yousef

Mosab Hassan Yousef has converted to Christianity


The eldest son of a founding member of the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, has said he worked as a spy for Israel for more than ten years.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef

Sheikh Hassan Yousef has disowned his son from his family

In a new book, Mosab Hassan Yousef said that after being released by the Israelis following his arrest in 1996, he began to supply intelligence to Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet.

He gave them information about suicide bombers and key leaders of both Hamas and its rival, Fatah.

Mosab Hassan Yousef now lives in exile in the US, where he spoke to the BBC's Lyse Doucet.

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How have people in the West Bank taken this news of Mosab Hassan Yousef spying for Israel?

The BBC's Jon Donnison, has been gauging opinion.

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Mahmoud Ramahi, the General Secretary of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a senior Hamas official, gave his reaction to Owen Bennett-Jones.

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So what are Palestinians and Israelis making of Mosab Hassan Yousef's claims?

The BBC's James Menendez spoke to:

  • Wafa Abdul Rahman, the director of Philastiniat, a group that monitors the Palestinian media.
  • Avi Issacharoff is the Middle East correspondent for Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper. He has also spoken to Mosab Yousef on a number of occasions and to the man who says he was his handler in the Shin Bet security service.


James began by asking Avi Issacharoff how plausible he thinks Mosab Yousef's story is.

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First broadcast 3 March 2010

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