On October 18, 2011, during the holiday of Sukkot, Gilad Schalit returned home after 1,941 days in Hamas captivity. Many hearts were filled with joy and pride. “Free Gilad” is the story of an unprecedented secret communication channel that made a decisive contribution towards the release of Gilad Schalit. The book includes more than 250 pages of letters and documents that were exchanged between Dr. Gershon Baskin and significant role players in Israel, in the Hamas and around the world. For over five years, Gershon Baskin dedicated and risked his life towards achieving a goal that had both national and human significance, to redeem the life of a human being who was confined in captivity.
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Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.