He is considered a member of Hamas' extremist faction, though he refrains from any talk of rapprochement between Israel and the Palestinians. He is also considered one of the spiritual leaders of Hamas.
Yousef is married to Sabba Abu Salem. They have six sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, became a Christian and worked with Shin Bet to prevent attacks on Israeli civilians, as he considered such attacks immoral and destructive to the Palestinian cause. He got disowned by his father but is considered a hero by many Americans as well as Israelis.
Yousef was arrested by the Israeli authorities several times, starting from 1993. He became the visible leader of the Second Intifada.
While in jail in 2005, Yousef was nominated to represent Hamas during the elections. This was against his will, as he did not think that Hamas could become a political party. He was initially unwilling, but the Hamas leaders did not accept his refusal. Yousef eventually agreed, when he found out that his eldest son had received death threats.
- Avi Issacharoff, Haarez News, 21 June 2006
- Caridi, Paola (2012). Hamas: From Resistance to Government. Seven Stories Press. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-60980-382-7.
- Elsworth, Catherine; Carolynne Wheeler (August 24, 2008). "Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- Mosab Hassan Yousef. Son of Hamas.
- Yousef, Mosab Hassan and Ron Brackin, Son of Hamas. SaltRiver, 2010. ISBN 9781414333076 p235