After six years in an Israeli prison, Hassan Yousef – one of Hamas’ top spiritual leader in the West Bank -was released on Thursday.
Yousef was released along with 200 other Palestinian prisoners who served their sentence in full. Another 570 prisoners who served sentences for offenses not related to terror were also freed.
Yousef’s release was supposed to have been completed six weeks ago but the defense establishment decided to hold him in administrative detention. Upon leaving the Ofer prison, Yousef called on all Palestinian factions to unite against Israel.
Yousef said it was his intention to join the reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas and stressed that Israel declared war not just on Hamas’ leaders, parliament members and field operatives but against the entire Palestinian nation. According to Yousef, Hamas will continue its struggle until the Palestinian nation is freed from Israeli occupation.
Yousef is considered to be one of the founders of Hamas and during the Al-Aqsa Intifada served as one of the organization’s leaders in the West Bank. In Israel he is famous because of his son Mosab Hassan Yousef, who was considered Israel’s most senior informant within Hamas during the second Intifada. Yosef junior is the author of the book Son of Hamas.