"I came here to identify with the Israeli soldiers, who work hard to protect their country," the son of imprisoned Hamas
founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef said Sunday.
Speaking to thousands of Druze
soldiers in compulsory service during Druze Soldier Day at Guy Beach in Tiberias, Mosab Yousef said, "It is time that the neighbors will learn from Israel
what the value and holiness of life is.
"I will do everything, and act in every way so that the Palestinian people abandon the language of power and I will lead, in the future, to freedom," Yousef said.
Yousef, who renounced his father's terror group and fled to the US, where he admitted to collaborating with Israel for about a decade, told Ynet "I am here to support the efforts of the soldiers. I support the State of Israel because it respects human rights and freedom, and I hope the other side, the Arab (side), will choose the same path.
'Learn from Israel.' Druze Soldier Day (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
"I call on all Israeli soldiers and all denominations to unite against the main enemy – racism – and safeguard the future of Israel, which I view as my country," he said. "When the time comes I plan to live (in Israel)."
Yousef published a shocking autobiography, "Son of Hamas," two years ago in which he described his decade of service as a secret Israeli agent. He claims to have prevented dozens of suicide attacks and helped Israel to hunt down terrorists, including his father. Hamas considers him a traitor, and his father, who is imprisoned in Israel, has disowned him.
He moved to California in 2007 and converted from Islam to Christianity.
In his memoir, Yousef described growing up hating Israel and admiring the violently anti-Israel terror group his father helped found more than two decades ago. Israeli forces imprisoned him in 1996 after he bought weapons, but he says he became disillusioned with Hamas while in prison.
He began working with Israel's Shin Bet security
service, which routinely tries to recruit Palestinians of all factions as informers, including those in prisons, by using blackmail or promising benefits, such as work or travel permits.
Yousef claims he was considered one of the Shin Bet's most valuable assets and was dubbed "The Green Prince," a reference to his Hamas pedigree and the Islamists' signature green color.
The US granted him temporary asylum in 2010 after abruptly dropping concerns he was a terrorist threat.
Yousef, is the guest of Deputy Minister for Galilee and Negev Development, Ayoob Kara, who represented the government at the event.
Kara's spokesman, Mendi Safadi, said Yousef will be in Israel nearly a month lecturing at universities and other places.
AP contributed to the report