AFP reports Hamas leader arrested in the West Bank, two weeks after being released from prison • IDF confirms arrest but gives no further comment according to report • Separate report claims son of Islamic Jihad leader arrested on Wednesday night.
Israel Hayom Staff
Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef was arrested in the West Bank on Wednesday, two weeks after his release from jail due to overcrowding in Israeli prisons, AFP reports.
Yousef was detained while traveling between Ramallah and Nablus, the report said. He was released two weeks ago as part of an effort to reduce overcrowding in Israeli prisons; in total 770 prisoners were released, of which 200 were security prisoners. Yousef was serving a six-year sentence for "membership in a terrorist organization," according to the AFP report. Hamas has maintained that Yousef is only involved in the political wing of the faction.
Yousef is no stranger to Israeli prisons. He had previously completed a four-year sentence and, six months after his release, was arrested and imprisoned again. Yousef's son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, famously converted to Christianity and joined Israel's Shin Bet security service as an informant in 1997, serving as Israel's most valuable informant during the Second Intifada. In 2010, Yousef wrote a book, “Son of Hamas,” about his experience, and shortly afterward fled to the U.S., where he was given asylum. The elder Yousef disowned his son in March 2010 after discovering his role as an informant.
According to various news agencies, the IDF has confirmed that it has detained the elder Yousef and offered no further comment.