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Son of Hamas

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  8,605 ratings  ·  1,053 reviews
Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status . . . and power. But everything changed when ...more
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by SaltRiver (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  8,605 ratings  ·  1,053 reviews

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I haven't read much so far, and I am duly and genuinely shocked, just as I am supposed to be, about the terrible things the Israelis did on a daily basis to the occupants of the Gaza strip. I am not terribly impressed with the glossing-over of the 'guaranteed-non-violent, peaceful, moderate' stance of Hamas during this time. When I read, continually and in detail, that the Israelis often shot innocent Palestinians for just being Palestinians but that a Palestinian just went and shot a couple of ...more
Douglas Wilson
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Here is a book to break your heart. Mosab Yousef is the son of one of the founders of Hamas, and was intimately involved in its operations. He was also doing intelligence work for the Israelis, all while in the process of becoming a Christian. This one really is a page turner. With regard to the Palestinian situation, this book will really give you a different vantage point from which to look at everything. When you are done, you will ache for everybody over there, and be angry with everybody ov ...more
May 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm skeptical of many of the author's claims and have a strong feeling that he's telling us what he thinks we want to hear in these troubled times. The book is strongly self-serving and I doubt that his alleged conversion to Christianity is valid.

He lied to the Israelis, he lied to his Hamas compatriots, he lied to his family...and I think he lies to his readers.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
You don't comprehend the sociopolitical relationship between Israel and Hamas!? Neither do I. Neither do most of us. Neither, still, do people living in Israel and the occupied territories--who have a mortal interest in their own sociopolitics. Neither do people who work for Israeli Defense Forces (military), Mossad (CIA equivalent), or the Shin Bet (FBI equivalent)--who have a security interest in the sociopolitics. Neither do people in Hamas, Hizbollah, Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority--who ...more
Darryl Greer
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mosab Hassan Yousef’s non-fiction book, "Son of Hamas" charts the author’s upbringing in Ramallah in the Palestinian Territories, his secretly working for Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, his conversion to Christianity and his move to the United States, where he had to fight his next battle: deportation due to his Hamas connection. As the title suggests, his father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef was a Hamas leader who spent many years in Israeli prisons. While some elements of the story have ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
There is little I could say that would do justice to this book. If there are criticisms that could be made, I won't make them. This is a deeply felt story of a life. So far it's still a somewhat young life and I pray the best for the writer.

Is this book inspiring? In some ways. Is the book frightening? Yes in other ways. Are there lessons to be learned? Undoubtedly. Is there Hope in this story? Yes.

I'm not here to lecture, I'm not here to give a synopsis. I'll avoid that as anything I might say
Michael Gerald
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the fascinating and moving memoir of Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who is also a son of one of the founding leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian group resisting Israeli occupation. It contains his experience as one of the group's militants and his eventual renunciation of violence, through his capture by Israeli intelligence.

While Mosab's revelations about Hamas may be true, it is also true that Israel bears the blame for the injustice. A nation created after the Holocaust is behaving
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to K by: Chani Garb
What the heck do I do with this book?

Initially Mosab enraged me. The author's perspective as a Palestinian engaging in gratuitous acts of violence toward Israelis as a child and painting the Israelis as the big bad bullies was infuriating, especially in light of the recent murder of a three-month-old Israeli baby by Palestinians, not to mention a bomb just a few blocks away from me targeting innocent civilians at a bus station going about their business.

But then Mosab writes about his offer from
Sleepless Dreamer
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I had a chance to participate in a conversation with activists from Gaza last week. I spent a few days after thinking about compassion and empathy, the sheer magic of having a conversation. And then, yesterday, I came across this article that says that after this video call, the Hamas arrested the activists that we met and really, no one knows what happened to them since.

And I can't recall the last time I felt such anger. 

I can't get his smile out of my head, the way he kept trying to make every
Megan Larson
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
It's hard to know where to start in reviewing this controversial book about a controversial part of the world and a controversial choice made by its author, but the number of stars should be a hint. I came to this book with little other than a cursory knowledge of the tenets of Islam and the intricate workings of the Middle East conflict, and eager to learn. I was most interested, as a Christian, to read how a son of Hamas came to a place where he was willing to renounce not only terrorism but I ...more
Tempe Lohmeyer
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book written by the son of one of the founders of the Hamas, a Palestinian terror organization. It chronicles his youth as the son of a devout Muslim iman, to his years in prison, then follows his years as a spy for Israel.

Mosab's autobiography reads like a spy thriller. He was uniquely positioned to see the inner workings of the Palestinian terror organizations plus the inner world of the Israeli FBI. The book is interesting on two fronts: First, it is an inside view on t
Michael O'Brien
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating story to read in so many ways. I enjoyed Yousef's candor --- he does not gloss over the bad and the ugly from either the Palestinian or the Israeli sides that he dealt with. Neither does he exaggerate their virtues. The result is an unvarnished tale of a young man caught up in the one of the most complicated conflicts in the world who, somehow, manages to rise above the limitations and prejudices of such a situation, and, not only that, finds a relationship with Jesus Chri ...more
Stephen Phillips
It is important to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, for it is at the literal and figurative center of religious and political strife today. Son of Hamas gives the reader a ground view of this conflict from 1987 to 2007 through the eyes of its author, Mosab Hassan Yousef. His perspective is a unique one, for not only is Yousef the first born son of one of founders of Hamas, he became an intelligence asset of the Shin Bet - Israel’s internal security service. Balancing these two whether patro ...more
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I would never have picked up this book to read on my own. I'm so glad it was a bookclub book. I've always been sort of pro-Israel when hearing about events in the conflict between them and the Palestinians. This is probably due to all the WWII and Holocaust books I've read. Why can't they finally have a country of their own? And what better place than their original spot? Right? Reading this book was such an education. To see things from the point of view of a Palestinian who ended up not hating ...more
John Gardner
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
There’s a saying that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. This book is proof that truth can be more exciting as well.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas, an Islamic resistance movement which has been classified as a terrorist organization. His father remains one of the organization’s most prominent members and spokesmen.

This book, written with help from Ron Brackin, is Mosab’s story of growing up in the Gaza Strip, taking part in the Arab re
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, ebook
Son of Hamas is probably the most important book I've read this year. It's an autobiography account Mosab Yousef, eldest son of one of the founders of the terrorist organization Hamas, and an extraordinary insider's view of the infamous organization.

According to Yousef, Hamas didn't begin as a terrorist organization. In fact, his father isn't a terrorist in one sense (Yousef is at pains to paint his father as a man who doesn't engage in or actively encourage acts of terror), but rather a benign
Mar 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
I can’t tell whether this book is the product of an elaborate disinformation campaign or simply the excrement of a feeble mind. Either way, it is total crap.

The purported author is the son of a founding member of Hamas and his muse has connections to the Washington Times – I guess I should have known what I was in store for once I learned that the Moonies were involved. Anyway, his goal to deliberately distort history is demonstrated straight off as the “Time Line” appended to the story contains
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have been wanting to read this book for a while now. It was probably a year ago that I heard Yousef speak at a live gathering, and I was intrigued then.

The pace of the narrative, and the matter-of-fact way it is presented, make it easy to forget that this is an autobiography. It's hard for a Westerner like myself to realize things like torture, interrogation, and bullet dodging are actually a reality for some people.

The greatest thing I was able to take away from this book was a deeper under
Lydia Presley
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book describes exactly what it is. It is a gripping, powerful, terrifying tale of unbelievable choices, political intrigue and betrayal of the most potent sort.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, known as the "Green Prince" to the Shin Bet (an Israeli intelligence service comparable to America's FBI), is the oldest song of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a cofounder and leader of Hamas since 1986. What is Hamas? It is an Islamic resistance movement in the West Bank and Gaza, listed by several organizat
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mosab begins his book with a letter to his family, acknowledging the pain, deep wounds, and separation he has caused by his choices. Had he stayed and become a terrorist, he would have gained the status of hero, dedicated to his faith, family and nation. But he does not think he would have been much of a hero, based on the Lord’s commands he now holds dearly. Instead, he is now considered a traitor in their eyes, bringing shame instead of pride. Once a royal prince, he is now a stranger in a for ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Apparently this book was a best seller and caused all kinds of waves when it was published. I must live under a rock because I never heard of it, though I vaguely remember hearing something about the author possibly being deported (he wasn't). Anyway, I caught it on the Kindle for like one dollar and it looked interesting.

It was interesting. Parts of it were fascinating. When Mosab stuck to telling of his relationship with his father, a major Hamas leader, and of his spiritual journey to Christi
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember running out and getting a book hot off the shelf like I did with this book and it lived up to every penny. First of all if you are any bit interested in the complicated middle east conflict this book will educate you on the war that won't end. This isn't a simple political conflict, this is a vast web of history, faith, family and land. He shares his unique experience, as son of Hamas as he grows in his new found faith and also journeys through the sad reality that Islam will ne ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wasn't optimistic about reading a true story when the young man says on page 10 that the Arabs lost because they were outgunned and outnumbered in the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948. But on the next page he begins to talk about the psychology of Islamic extremism and redeems his story a bit. The book is an easy read and, if the events related are reasonably accurate, he has an interesting story. He whitewashes much of the Palestinian terror actions and paints Israelis in a bad light in most si ...more
Rick Davis
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was certainly an eye-opening story for me. My knowledge of the political situation in Palestine and Israel was basically on the level of a history survey class prior to reading this. Yousef definitely helped me to see what the Palestinian people feel like toward the Israeli "occupation" of the land and why it's so distressing. Whatever the facts are about who has a right to the land, both sides are certain that they are in the right and firmly believe that they have good reasons to feel tha ...more
David Johnston
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It seemed to flow pretty well. It may seem a bit disjointed because it was obvious he wasn't telling the whole story. He left a lot out and changed names and places. If he really was a Shin Bet spy, then much of his story is classified. This may be a spoiler if you have not read it all, but he becomes a Christian, is baptized, resigns from Shin Bet and immigrates to the U.S. The fact that he gets through security so easily and into the U.S. on an almost expired visa is chalked up to divine inter ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Son of Hamas is in interesting book. I have conflicting feelings about it, although the more I think about it the less I like it.
Taking the book at face value, it is an interesting read. The author, Mosab Hassan Yousef, describes the corruption and duplicity of Arafat and the PLO. He claims the Palestinian leadership drugs their people with lies to forget the pain those same leaders cause them. A good follower of Hamas is described as athletic, uneducated, and obedient. Mosab says concessions ma
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I admit that as an Israel-loving Christian I had some reservations, but they were dispelled. There is so much I learned about "the other side". I knew next to nothing about the lives of Palestinian Arabs, how and by whom they are led, and this book shed quite some light on that. While I don't expect non-Christians to do so, I totally agree with M. H. Y.'s final conclusion.
What I admired most are Mosab's courage to go public like this, the fact that he shows no bitterness towards Israel and his l
Nancy Fisher
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An unbelievable true story of the son of a high ranking Hamas leader in the Palestinian Territory. "The Green Prince" as named by the Israeli CIA (shin Bet) tells about his life as a double agent. It is a riveting account of why there may never be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis as there are fundamental cultural beliefs that must change before peace can be attained. His life and story is testament to this. The book will surprise the reader with a spiritual discovery that helps to ...more
Lorraine Wilson
Jan 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
It was utterly painful to read the constant undertone of self pity throughout this book. With every chapter, it becomes more evident that the author has written this as a means of justifying his (extremely questionable and at times very selfish) actions.

The writing feels amateur and unconvincing. I persisted and finished purely because the topic interested me but it was very difficult to sit through the self gratifying excuses and explanations he packed in to every single chapter.

The final straw
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book for an ecumenical book club that I belong to. It is quite interesting to discuss. I learned a lot about the difficult histories of Palestine and Israel.

The part I liked best was the fact that Yousef's father was a good man, as were his Israeli contact when the author became a spy, the Christians that mentored Mosab were also good people. So there is good in the best of us no matter what our religion may be.
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“I asked myself what Palestinians would do if Israel disappeared -- if everything not only went back to the way it was before 1948 but if all the Jewish people abandoned the Holy Land and were scattered again. And for the first time, I knew the answer.

We would still fight. Over nothing. Over a girl without a head scarf. Over who was toughest and most important. Over who would make the rules and who would get the best seat.”
“Palestinians no longer blamed Yasser Arafat or Hamas for their troubles. Now they blamed the Israelis for killing their children. But I still couldn't escape a fundamental question: Why were those children out there in the first place? Where were the parents? Why didn't their mothers and fathers keep them inside? Those children should have been sitting at their desks in school, not running in the streets throwing stones at armed soldiers.” 7 likes
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