Hamas leader Hassan Yousef to be released from Israeli prison
search

Hamas leader Hassan Yousef to be released from Israeli prison

Co-founder of terror group has been held under administrative detention since he called for uprising over Trump’s Jerusalem decision in late 2017

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Sheikh Hassan Yousef speaks to the media after his  release from an Israeli prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 19, 2014 (Majdi Mohammad/AP)
Sheikh Hassan Yousef speaks to the media after his release from an Israeli prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 19, 2014 (Majdi Mohammad/AP)

Hassan Yousef, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, will be released from Israeli prison on Thursday, a spokesman for the Prisons Service said Wednesday. 

Yousef, a co-founder of the Hamas terror group and a Palestinian lawmaker, was arrested in December 2017 for “advancing and promoting Hamas activities” in the West Bank, according to the Shin Bet security service.

For the past 10 months, he has been held under administrative detention, the Prisons Service spokesman said. The measure allows Israel to hold certain suspects indefinitely without charge.

The spokesman said the order was not being renewed and referred questions to the Shin Bet.

The Shin Bet did not immediately provide a reason for the decision to allow Yousef to go free.

Three days prior to his arrest in December, Yousef had called for “escalating the Jerusalem uprising…to take down Trump’s decision,” referring to US President Donald Trump’s changes to American policy on Jerusalem. 

Illustrative: Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist terror movement, in Gaza City, on December 14, 2017. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

In early December 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated a process to move the US embassy in Israel to the city. The embassy was officially relocated in May.

Yousef, in his 60s, has spent almost a third of his life in Israeli prison, including the vast majority of the past three years. 

In recent years, Yousef has been one of the only Hamas members who has been willing to speak to Israeli journalists on the record. 

Mosab Yousef, son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on June 19, 2012 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Mosab Yousef, one of his sons, helped the Shin Bet in the late 1990s and 2000s thwart several terror attacks and arrest many Hamas members. He has since become estranged from his father, sought asylum in the US and converted to Christianity. 

He published an autobiography titled “Son of Hamas” in 2010.

Hassan Yousef is expected to return to his home in Beitunia on the outskirts of Ramallah. 

read more:
comments