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Palestine Can Subpoena Double Agent for Israel

(CN) - A federal judge has ordered Israel's top informant against Palestinian militants, who was the son of a Hamas founder, to turn over copies of his secret communications with the Israeli government, his application for political asylum in the United States and materials he used to write a memoir about working as a spy.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, who was born to Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, became an informant for Israel's secret service, Shin Bet, in 1997. Later in life, he renounced Islam converted to Christianity and changed his name to Joseph.

As an informant for Israel for about a decade, Yousef foiled suicide bombings, stopped assassination plots and snared militants - including his own father - in sting operations, according to Israeli sources quoted in the press.

Yousef tapped writer Ron Brackin to help him pen his memoir "Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices," published in 2010 by a division of the Christian publisher Tyndale House. That outfit is the same publisher behind the millenarian "Left Behind" series, which is set in the aftermath of the rapture, a Christian theory about the end of the world.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority hope to use Yousef's documents and deposition testimony to defend themselves in a lawsuit accusing them of sponsoring five suicide bombings and two machine-gun shootings.

Dozens of U.S. citizen and Israeli plaintiffs, who say they are victims of attacks that killed 33 people and maimed hundreds, are seeking damages under the Antiterrorism Act of 1991 against the Palestinian groups in the Southern District of New York.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels claimed jurisdiction over the case on Sept. 30, 2008.

Discovery, which is scheduled to continue another year until Dec. 21, 2012, expanded to the Western District of Pennsylvania weeks ago, where Palestinian groups hoped to compel documents and depositions from Yousef.

That court's Chief U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster granted the PLO's requests on Nov. 29. They subpoena requires Yousef to turn over various documents related to Yousef's book, his communications with the Israeli government, his application for political asylum in the United States and payments he received from Israel.

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