Dealing with Hamas: What a former hostage negotiator learned
What's it like to negotiate directly with Hamas?
On GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, Alex Kliment spoke with Gershon Baskin, a hostage negotiator who's dealt directly with Hamas, about the 240 estimated Israeli hostages being held captive in Gaza, what it will take to bring them home, and how to find common in tough negotiations. When Baskin secured the 2011 release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli solider held captive for 5 years, he developed a relationship with Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas leader who’s currently a spokesperson for the war in Gaza.
“The main thing that worked in the past was time,” Baskin tells Kilment, “[Hamad and I] spoke more than a thousand times. In the end, it was the trust that developed between us that enabled us to expose all our cards.”
What is happening today in Gaza is entirely unprecedented, Baskin says. There is no direct contact between the two sides, so they have to use third parties to negotiate, each having their own interest and stake in the situation. Add to that, the fact that among the hostages are many women, young children, and elderly people, making the stakes even higher. Israeli is willing to pay a high price to secure their release, but will they agree to the price Hamas wants?
Watch the episode: Is an Israel-Palestine two-state solution possible?
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