'Son of Hamas' Granted Political Asylum in U.S.
The son of one of Hamas' founders and ex-Israeli spy Mosab Hassan Yousef was granted political asylum in the United States.
After fears that he would be deported, an attorney with the Department of Homeland Security stated Wednesday in a San Diego courtroom that the DHS no longer opposes Yousef's asylum petition.
"Honestly, I am still in shock," wrote Yousef on his personal blog. "We were prepared for several hours of testimony and defense. But 15 minutes after we walked into the courtroom, it was over."
Since the DHS no longer seeks to deport Yousef, Judge Rico Bartolomei granted him temporary political asylum while a routine background check is pending.
"As we drove home through San Diego, we thanked God for his grace and for all those he used to make this happen," wrote Yousef, who has become an outspoken Christian after converting from Islam.
Initially, the DHS sought to deport Yousef because he was viewed as a threat to American national security for his engagement in terrorist activities.
Yousef, the eldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was intimately involved in Hamas activities while working as an undercover spy for the Israeli security agency Shin Bet. As the son of the most prominent founding member of Hamas in the West Bank, Yousef had access to top secret information about the terrorist group and to most wanted members of Hamas.
In his bestselling book Son of Hamas, Yousef explained that he helped Israel because he wanted to save lives. Hamas, although it started out with noble intentions to stand up for Palestinian rights, has become increasingly violent and corrupt over the years, said Yousef. Many innocent civilians were killed because of Hamas suicide bombers.
The Hamas insider gave the Shin Bet information on the location of most wanted Hamas leaders responsible for instigating violence.
While working as an agent for the Shin Bet, he met a British missionary in 1999 who invited him to attend Bible studies in Israel. Six years later, Yousef gave his life to Christ and became a Christian. His father disowned him after finding out he converted to Christianity and was a spy for the Shin Bet.
Yousef has stated that he believes true peace between Israel and the Palestinian people can only come when both sides learn the principle of forgiveness and unconditional love as taught by Jesus.
"There can be fake peace in the Middle East. They might establish a Palestinian state and everybody will think that there will be peace but I'm sure that the only peace that can come to the Middle East is the peace and love of Jesus Christ," said Yousef to Christian journalists in March.
Yousef currently resides in San Diego, Calif., where he attends a Baptist church that knows him by his English name – Joseph.