Amid the international debate over the war, a voice has emerged that is challenging the status quo and the misunderstandings many have about Hamas, the terrorist group that sparked the war after it launched a surprise attack on Israel. Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founding member of the organization, has been speaking out against the group.
The son of a founding Hamas leader broke his silence on his decision to denounce the terrorist group after he turned on his own family and converted to Christianity, suggesting Israel “explore using gas” to get Hamas out of the tunnels in Gaza.
Mosab Hassan Yousef, who spied in favor of the Israelis and sought asylum in the U.S., spoke out on his decision to leave the life of terror behind and explained what he believes Israel should do during “FOX & Friends” on Thursday.
Yousef told the hosts that he was “born at the heart of Hamas leadership…and I know them very well.” He noted that “they don’t care for the Palestinian people” and that “they do not regard human life.”
He also recounted his experience with the organization and noted the vicious murders they carried out.
“I saw their brutality firsthand back in 1996 when I spent about a year and a half in Megiddo Prison… They killed so many Palestinian people at that point, and this is when I decided that I cannot be together with this movement,” Yousef continued.
Yousef’s words fly in the face of those in the Western world who insist on defending Hamas or making it seem as if the group is simply fighting against Israeli oppression. The reality is that Hamas has oppressed Palestinians far more than Israel has over the history of the conflict. The organization, having been elected in 2007, has ruled the Gaza Strip with an iron fist. It has refused to hold elections since taking over. Speaking out against the group can get one imprisoned or killed. In essence, Hamas’ rule over Gaza is reminiscent of a North Korean-style dictatorship.
Moreover, its constant attacks on Israel have only served to endanger innocents living in the region. When Israel responds militarily, it results in the inevitable deaths of civilians. Even more insidious is that Hamas routinely hides operatives and weapons among the civilian population, storing their wares in schools, hospitals, churches, and other areas in which non-combatants are present.
The group does this because it creates a win-win situation for them. If Israel decides not to attack an area due to the possibility of civilian casualties, Hamas can safely keep its operatives and weaponry in those areas. If Israel does decide to attack, the resulting civilian casualties can be used as a propaganda tool against the Jewish state, which plays well for anti-Israeli forces like the United Nations and others.
The strategic logic of human shields has two components. It is based on an awareness of Israel’s desire to minimise collateral damage, and of Western public opinion’s sensitivity towards civilian casualties. If the IDF uses lethal force and causes an increase in civilian casualties, Hamas can utilise that as a lawfare tool: it can accuse Israel of committing war crimes, which could result in the imposition of a wide array of sanctions. Alternatively, if the IDF limits its use of military force in Gaza to avoid collateral damage, Hamas will be less susceptible to Israeli attacks, and thereby able to protect its assets while continuing to fight. Moreover, despite the Israeli public’s high level of support for the Israeli political and military leadership during operations, civilian casualties are one of the friction points between Israeli left-wing and right-wing supporters, with the former questioning the outcomes of the operation.
Yousef indicated that the best favor Israel could do for the Palestinians would be to eliminate Hamas, a sentiment which most seem to agree with. Hamas being in the equation makes it impossible to work towards a peaceful solution between Israel and the Palestinians.