Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

The son of a founder of the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, told CNN that he was a spy for Israel.

For 10 years, Mosab Yousef said he gathered information about Hamas terrorist plots and fed them to Israel’s domestic security service Shin Bet.

Yousef, in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, said he did it because he came to believe that Hamas was practicing “exceptional cruelty” against its members and “killed people for no reason.”

He has now written a book, “Son of Hamas” detailing his exploits from his new base in the United States where he has lived since 2007. CNN could not independently confirm his story and Israel has refused to comment.

In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a former Israeli handler said of Yousef: “One insight of his was worth 1,000 hours of thought by top experts.”

Yousef told CNN: “They offered me to work for them. My goal was to be a double agent and attack them from the inside.”

But then his views changed. Watch the full interview here.

“After I was tortured by Shin Bet I was transferred to prison [where] Hamas tortured Hamas members and I became confused who was really my enemy … I accepted to meet Shin Bet.”

Yousef said he agreed to spy on Hamas and that his decision was partly a moral one. “My people did not understand this. Shin Bet is committed to a constitution but Hamas targets civilians. There’s a difference between targeting a terrorist and civilians.”

He said that in part his transformation was due to spiritual reasons. “Later on, I became a Christian, during that time, the first few months, and I was convinced by the principle of loving your enemies. And I saw that my enemy, who I thought that they were my enemies, they had morality, they had their responsibilities more than my own people.”

He added: “As a Shin Bet agent, when I had information I helped arrest people, otherwise they hit randomly. When I specified a particular person I had a condition – not to kill that person …

“In 10 years working for Shin Bet I am not responsible for killing one terrorist. I care about my people, my problem was their [Hamas’] ideology.

His father, Sheikh Yousef, is serving time in an Israeli prison. He recently wrote a letter from jail saying that the whole family “inclusively and exhaustively denounce our eldest son.”

An attorney for the elder Yousef obtained a statement last week from the father saying Hamas knew of his son’s contact with Israeli intelligence and adding that he “was not on any day an active member in the ranks of Hamas.”

Asked if he feels in danger because of what he’s done, Yousef says he is not afraid. “Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a human being, physical death. The worst, spiritual and soul death. This is what really scares me.”

The Israeli government, including Shin Bet, has not offered CNN official comment, and his family has broadly denied his story. But an intelligence source told Amanpour that the core claims are true, this is a “modus operandi of how Israeli agents work,” to penetrate the opposite side, to try to get as much information as possible.

But the source added some of the high profile claims of thwarting terrorism or helping with high-level captures are “gross exaggerations.”


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On sale exclusively at Target is this innocent-looking toy globe. Thousands of these trinkets have already moved out of malls, from Queens to Honolulu, and landed in living rooms and kids’ rooms across America.

But folks who forked over a buck for the miniature worlds got less than they bargained for.

These planetary models contain just about all the countries on Earth — from France to China, Singapore to Spain. But there’s one glaring exception: Israel.

In the spot where Israel should be, this word is printed: “Palestine.” Some of those who unwittingly purchased the Israel-free orbs feel as if they’ve played a role in a modern-day Final Solution.

“They’re teaching kids there is no Israel, only Palestine,” said Rabbi Gary Moskowitz, who bought a globe at the Queens Center Mall for his 5-year-old daughter. “This encourages terrorism. This foments hatred.”

Bob Kunst learned of the globe’s omission when a friend’s 12-year-old daughter in Florida asked innocently, “Where’s Israel?”

“The very people who deny Israel’s existence also deny the Holocaust,” he said.

After receiving complaints, Target, which sold the globes for several weeks, finally responded. On Sunday, it began yanking the globes from its 1,744 stores in 49 states (Vermont is Target-free), and destroying them. We hope.

“We didn’t want to offend any of our guests,” said Amy Reilly of Target customer relations, who initially said the omission of Israel was due to lack of space on the item. (Isn’t “Palestine” a longer word?)

Devrian Global Industries of New Jersey, which imported “tens of thousands” of globes from China, apologized. “Obviously, it was a mistake. We obviously offended some people. Now we’re pulling them off the shelves,” said chief merchandising officer Larry Fine.

No estimate on how many were sold.

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The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s armed wing, claimed responsibility on Friday for the stabbing death of an Israeli soldier, the 28-year-old Ihab Khatib, near Nablus on Wednesday.

Abu Al-Majd, a leader of the armed wing, identified the attacker as Muhammad Al-Khatib, the same Palestinian who Israeli forces took into custody on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

“Al-Khatib, a brigades activist, carried out this attack in response to ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinians and the assassination of three brigade affiliates in Nablus two months ago,” Al-Majd said in a phone interview.

Al-Majd threatened that the Fatah-affiliated faction would carry out more “substantive” attacks in the near future. He also said the delay in claiming responsibility was for security reasons.

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Judea and Samaria Police receive between 30,000 and 40,000 abusive calls from Palestinians every month.

Police operators at the Judea and Samaria phone center undergo special training to learn how to distinguish between abusive and real calls, and a computerized phone system is used to screen out the bogus callers, Ch.-Supt. Nir Carmeli, head of Judea and Samaria Police’s Control Room at district headquarters in Ma’aleh Adumim’s E1 (Mevaseret Adumim) neighborhood, said on Thursday.

“Without the screening, we would be getting 90,000 to 100,000 bad calls a month,” Carmeli said. The calls range from personally abusive to threats of terrorist attacks, he added.

“We often hear people cursing our sisters and mothers. Sometimes we get callers threatening to blow us up or carry out a suicide bomb attack,” he said. “When that happens, we treat the call as a real threat. We pass a warning on to the IDF and Shin Bet. It goes through intelligence, and the security forces are alerted. We know it could be bogus, but we don’t take chances,” Carmeli said.

“Efforts to trace the call continue until we can determine whether it is a real threat or not,” he added.

“The decision must be made in seconds, and time is of the essence so that we can provide assistance when needed,” Carmeli said. “Let’s say we field a call and hear someone say, ‘Sharmuta [whore], want to get screwed?’ The phone number is immediately tagged by the system, and it cannot be used to get through to an operator for 21 days. The next time an abusive call is made from that number, it cannot be used to call an operator for over a month,” he said.

After several repeat offenses, the number is permanently banned from the system.

“The caller will hear a ring tone and the computer will pick up the phone and immediately hang up,” he said.

Some of the most determined offenders switch numbers and use stolen cellphones to keep up the harassment, Carmeli said.

No settlers are behind the calls, he said. “All the callers are Palestinians. They curse at us in Hebrew and in Arabic.”

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