The second son of a Hamas founder has left the terror group with some harsh criticisms for the organization and Israel is facing large protests after a police shooting. Plus, a car-ramming wounds five, the weekly Gaza update, and Israel’s reaction to Iran’s nuclear progress.
Second “Son of Hamas” Leaves Terror Group
Suheib Yousef is the son of a Hamas co-founder, brother of the famous “Green Prince” who secretly worked for Shin Bet and is the latest high-ranking official to walk away from the Hamas terror group.
Yousef tells his story in an exclusive interview with Israel’s Channel 12 that he arranged after fleeing his post in Turkey. In the interview Yousef slams Hamas for corruption and its murderous indoctrination and actions that he says is not for the benefit of the Palestinian people.
“They were working for a foreign agenda. This isn’t for the Palestinian cause. Instead, they sell the information to Iran in return for financial assistance,” Yousef said.
The Times of Israel reports how he described working for Hamas’ “political branch” in Turkey, which was a guise for a sophisticated intelligence gathering operation targeting Palestinian leaders, Israelis, and others. He also describes the corruption he witnessed by Hamas leadership indulging in luxury while the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip live in abject poverty. He criticized the leaders of the movement for using the people of Gaza as cannon fodder at the border protests.
“I want them to send their own children to carry out attacks if they have to. Why doesn’t [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh go to the fence to throw stones?” he said.
Their political and military agenda, he says, is focused on spreading its power to the West Bank, not finding a solution for Palestinians.
Despite being the second son of a prominent Hamas family to abandon the organization, he says his motivation for doing so greatly differs from that of his brother Mosab Hassan Yousef known as the “Green Prince” and publicized in the book Son of Hamas.
“Unlike my brother, I never worked for Israel,” he said. “I never betrayed [Hamas], I was loyal to them.”
No matter the reason, leaving Hamas and publicly decrying them, going so far as to call on his own father to resign, puts a target on Yousef.
“If they want to make me a martyr, I’ll be a martyr,” he said.
Police Shooting Roils Israel in Protests
For more than three days, the Israeli-Ethiopian community protested and rioted, frequently clashing with police after an off-duty police officer shot and killed nineteen-year-old Solomon Tekah during an altercation at a park in Haifa.
Here’s the account of the June 30 incident as reported by the Jerusalem Post:
The officer who shot Tekah told investigators that he was walking to a local park with his wife and three children when he came upon teens involved in a street brawl. He said he made it clear that he was a police officer and the teens then began throwing stones at him. The officer, whose name was not released, said he felt that his life was threatened and aimed at the ground when he fired his service revolver. The police believe the bullet ricocheted off the ground and struck Tekah in the chest.
The police have promised a transparent investigation, but the Ethiopian community says this most recent death is just the latest blow in what they say is discrimination against their community in housing, education, and employment.
The shooting enflamed that tension into street clashes where protestors blocked intersections, burned tires, and even flipped a police car. In some areas like Tel Aviv, police have met them with riot dispersal methods. Ha’aretz reports that thirty-six arrests were made, and 111 policemen injured in the protests so far.
More than 144,000 Ethiopian Jews are living in Israel, most of them having arrived as refugees in 1984’s Operation Moses and 1991’s Operation Solomon. Cultural integration has proved difficult and this isn’t the first time tensions have boiled over into the street. In May 2015, protests erupted after a video of two police officers beating an Ethiopian-Israeli went viral.
The Times of Israel reports that Tekah’s family has called for a pause in the protesting during the seven-day mourning period and only resuming protests in a peaceful, non-violent manner on Monday.
Israel Reacts to Iran Nuclear Progress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that world leaders impose “snapback sanctions” on Iran after it violated the uranium threshold laid out in the wavering 2015 nuclear deal.
"I call on my friends, the heads of France, Britain and Germany - you signed this deal and you said that as soon as they take this step, severe sanctions will be imposed—that was the Security Council resolution. Where are you?" Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu was a vocal critic of the Iran Deal and has held to the Israeli position that Iran’s sole purpose in nuclear development has been to create a nuclear bomb. To prevent that outcome Israel has carried out extensive espionage operations inside Iran’s nuclear program and has targeted elements of the program with strikes.
Ha’aretz reports that Netanyahu’s statement comes less than a week after Iran publicly surpassed the 661-pound limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, a boost that experts warn shortens the time Iran would need to make an atomic bomb.
Car-Ramming Wounds Five Soldiers
Five Israeli soldiers were wounded overnight Saturday when a car rammed into their checkpoint in northern Jerusalem in what the military says was a deliberate attack.
Ha’aretz reports that two of the soldiers are in moderate condition and suffering from injuries to head and limbs, but the three others are in light condition. The Times of Israel reports that the IDF said the troops were in the area as part of an “operational mission,” when the car rammed the checkpoint.
The military has arrested a suspect and his father for questioning.
Weekly Gaza Report
Around 7,000 Palestinians protested at the Gaza border last weekend burning tires and throwing rocks and explosives at soldiers on the other side of the border fence.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported forty demonstrators were injured by Israeli troops, at least sixteen of them wounded by live fire. This is the first major protest since last Friday when Israel and Hamas reached a new ceasefire agreement that included a number of economic concessions for Gaza, expanding the fishing zone off the coast and restoring fuel supply in exchange for an end to arson attacks and other violence along the border.
The Times of Israel reports that the number of airborne arson attacks has dropped but not stopped completely. On Sunday, three Gazans were caught after crossing the border from Gaza into Southern Israel and found in possession of a fragmentation grenade and “arson materials” according to the IDF.
Despite the large protest last weekend, the strip has remained relatively calm during the week. Ha’aretz reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Israel’s south last week saying that Israel wants “to return calm, but at the same time, we are preparing for a large-scale military operation, if necessary. These are my orders to the military.”