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The Green Prince

written by Asher Intrater
February 28, 2010

This week “Haaretz” (Israel’s third largest Hebrew newspaper) featured an interview with Mas’ab Yousef, the son of Sheikh Hasan Yousef (one of the founders and primary leaders of Hamas). In 1996, as an 18 year old, Mas’ab was arrested for carrying illegal weapons. He was thrown into an Israeli jail, beaten mercilessly, and interrogated. By this time, he was ready to kill any Israeli he could.

Israeli security forces tried to enlist him to work for them. He agreed – thinking that he would become a double agent and attack Israelis from within. However, during the time he was in jail, he witnessed cruel abuses by the Hamas leaders against their fellow Muslim prisoners. He became disillusioned with Islam, and thought the Hamas leaders were even worse than the Israelis.

He was released from jail in 1997. After his release, he continued meetings with Israeli security officers, and was surprised to find them quite reasonable and humane. He saw that they were not against Muslims and Palestinians in general, but only trying to stop terrorist attacks. He began to see things from their point of view.

In 1999, a Christian tourist from England met him near the Damascus gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, and invited him to a Bible study. Out of boredom and curiosity, he decided to come. He liked the young people there and found the discussion interesting. He took a New Testament in Arabic home with him and started to read. He got as far as:

Matthew 5:43 – “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Young Mas’ab was stunned by the teaching of the love of Yeshua (Jesus). It was totally different than anything he had ever heard. Yet it seemed to fit everything he was struggling with in his heart. To “love one’s enemy” seemed to give a ray of hope to the Israeli-Palestinian problems.

Over the next few years, he became a born-again believer in Yeshua and also began to work as key secret agent of Israel in the West Bank. He was given the code name, “Green Prince”: green which is the color of Hamas, and prince because he was the son of one of their top sheiks.

Throughout the years 2000 to 2006, Mas’ab was involved in many crucial security events, including the outbreak of the second Intifada, infiltrating the Al Aksa terror ring, exposing the connection between Hamas and the PLO, intercepting secret information from the Hamas headquarters in Damascus, and thwarting numerous suicide bombers.

Israeli security officers state that countless Israelis owe their lives to this young man. They also say that Mas’ab was different from most Palestinian agents. His motives were not for money or need, but out of an ideology to save lives. He was held in great esteem, and his secret influence was such that his word at times even turned back the decisions of the prime minister or army generals. 

Here a few translated remarks from his interview in Ha’aretz:

“I will not lie and say that I am not afraid. But I draw motivation from the fact that I saved hundreds of lives – Israelis, Palestinians, Americans. This gives me strength to go on. I am not pro Israeli nor pro Palestinian. I worked for my God, who is the Father of all men, whoever they are.

The root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not military or political; it is a war between two “gods” – the God of the Torah and the god of the Koran. The Koran teaches that this land is holy to Islam and it is forbidden to give it up. The Torah teaches the Jews that this is their land, and it is forbidden to give it up.

Even a moderate Muslim reads in the Koran that Jews are sons of monkeys and are to be killed as heretics. The Palestinians must stop blaming Israel for all their problems. If they really want to be free, they must be set free from their god.

The Hamas leadership cannot make peace with Israelis. It is forbidden for them to make peace with heretics. The current Hamas leadership is responsible for killing Palestinians. They would not hesitate to slaughter people sitting in a mosque or throw people out of high buildings; just as they did when they took over in Gaza. . .”

In 2007, Mas’ab fled to the United States, where he now resides.

Last week he called his father who is in jail in Israel. For the first time, he explained to his father about his faith in Yeshua and his previous work for Israeli security. It was obviously a heart-breaking conversation between him and his father, whom he so greatly loves, respects, and admires. 

Mas’ab has published a book describing his childhood in Hamas, his work with Israeli security, and his faith in Yeshua. Please buy the book as soon as it comes out. (It is available here). (I received a pre-publication copy of the manuscript. After reading the first page, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it in the middle of the night.)

Please pray for this young man’s protection, both spiritually and physically. His life is clearly in danger. The testimony of his faith is spreading through the West Bank, and obviously causing spiritual shock waves.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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