Hamas on Wednesday attempted to refute the exclusive published in Haaretz about Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank, who also worked for Israel's Shin Bet security service for 10 years.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

The exclusive story will appear in this Friday's Haaretz Magazine, and Yousef's memoir, "Son of Hamas" (written with Ron Brackin) will be released next week in the United States. Yousef, 32, became a devout Christian 10 years ago and now lives in California after fleeing the West Bank in 2007 and going public with his conversion.

Hamas parliament member Mushir a-Masri said that the article was not worthy of a response and called it Zionist propaganda against the Palestinian people.

Haaretz has learned that senior Hamas officials pressured Yousef not to pursue the publication of his story.

Arab media outlets on Wednesday reported widely on the affair. Various commentators and reporters have suggested that Israel wanted the Yousef story published as a means of distraction from the recent assassination of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

The Yousef family in Ramallah has said that the article is libelous.