Hassan Yousef

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For the Egyptian actor, see Hassan Youssef (actor).

Sheikh Hassan Yousef (born in 1955, Ramallah) is one of the leaders of Hamas in the West Bank.

He is considered a member of Hamas' moderate faction,[1] though he refrains from any talk of rapprochement between Israel and the Palestinians. He is also considered one of the spiritual leaders of Hamas.[2]

Yousef is married to Sabba Abu Salem. They have six sons, including the self-confessed Israeli spy Mosab,[3] and three daughters. His son Mosab Hassan Yousef became a Christian and moved to California, United States.[4]


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.[5]

On October 19, 2015, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided Yousef's home in the West Bank village of Beitunia and once again arrested the Hamas co-founder, accusing him of inciting recent violence.[6]


  1. ^ Avi Issacharoff , Haarez News, 21 June 2006
  2. ^ Caridi, Paola (2012). Hamas: From Resistance to Government. Seven Stories Press. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-60980-382-7. 
  3. ^ Gonen ben Yitzhak and Mosab Hassan Yousef. "The Heart of the Matter" reprint from The Washington Post, June 30, 2010
  4. ^ Elsworth, Catherine; Carolynne Wheeler (August 24, 2008). "Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ Yousef, Mosab Hassan and Ron Brackin, Son of Hamas. SaltRiver, 2010. ISBN 9781414333076 p235
  6. ^ http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/WATCH-IDF-troops-arrest-Hamas-co-founder-Hassan-Yousef-before-dawn-427499