The son of one of the founders of Hamas spied from inside the movement for Israel's Shin Bet internal intelligence agency, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today.
According to extracts of an article to be published on Friday, Israeli agents were able to prevent dozens of attacks thanks to the help of 32-year-old Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef.
The information led to the arrests of Ibrahim Hamid, once the movement's military chief in the West Bank, and Abdullah Barghuti, the bomb maker behind an infamous 2001 suicide attack on a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem.
He was also said to have played a role in the arrest of Marwan Barghuti, a senior Fatah leader considered the architect of the 2000 intifada, or uprising.
The two Barghutis are not closely related.
Yousef was known by his Shin Bet handlers as "The Green Prince".
The article came from extracts of a book, "Son of Hamas", co-written by Yousef, who converted to Christianity 10 years ago and now lives in California.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan rejected the report, calling it "baseless slander" aimed at the elder Yousef.
"Everyone knows what Hamas is and who its leaders are... The leader Hassan Yousef is known for his history and and his struggle against the Israeli occupation," he said in a statement.