Here is the Ha’Aretz story on the release of Gilad Shalit [click on link in line below]:
“Release of Gilad Shalit expected to take place in about a week, along with the release of 479 Palestinian security prisoners, including murderers of three kidnapped IDF soldiers.”
But there have been years of “back channel” diplomacy and one person who has been at it for many years is Gershon Baskin. The story will come out eventually as to how it happened, but I suspect that Netanyahu needed a political “accomplishment”.
Below is an email from Gershon Baskin which illuminates a bit of how this deal was made:
Thank you everyone for the good wishes and congratulations on my part of securing the Schalit deal.
The real hero is David Meidan, the special representative of Netanyahu who was willing to take risks, break the rules and understood the passion and commitment that I brought to the table.
The other real hero is Dr. Ghazi Hamad from the Hamas who has been working with me for 5 years to secure the release of Gilead – a person who I trust and who trusts me and someone who is the new face of Hamas willing to work for peace with Israelis.
And of course my good friend the Egyptian mediator who I know for years and succeeded where all others had failed.
And lastly, I must say that nothing would have happened without Binyamin Netanyahu deciding that it was time to bring Gilead home, even though he was in principle opposed to the deal – he broke his own principles in favor of humanism and compassion.