scroll to top arrow or icon

{{ subpage.title }}

Family members, friends, and supporters of Israelis taken hostage on Oct. 7 by Hamas marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They're seen here in Jerusalem on Nov. 18, 2023.

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Why Israel’s war aims may “break Israeli society”: a conversation with Israeli hostage negotiator Gershon Baskin

There aren’t many people who have sat down with Hamas to negotiate hostage releases. One of them is Gershon Baskin, a Jerusalem-based activist and writer who is the Middle East Director of the International Communities Organisation, a human rights and conflict resolution group. In 2011, Baskin negotiated the release of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been kidnapped by Hamas five years earlier.

Now, with more than 200 Israeli hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip while Israeli forces bombard the enclave in an effort to eradicate Hamas, I spoke with Baskin about what it would take to release those captives, what it’s like to negotiate with Hamas, and whether there is still any hope for peace after what has happened over the last month.

Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. You can watch part of the interview here.

Read moreShow less
Dealing with Hamas: What a former hostage negotiator learned
Dealing with Hamas: What a former hostage negotiator learned | GZERO Media

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.”

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily