Gershon Baskin describes his involvement in the dramatic moments leading up to the release of Gilad Schalit, including the role of of Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange followed a 2011 agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis. Two hundred and eighty of these were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Israeli targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis. The agreement came five years and four months after Palestinian militants captured Schalit in southern Israel along the Gaza Strip border.
In this documentary by Raviv Drucker, Gershon Baskin describes the secret back channel he established with Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Ghazi Hamad.
The agreement is the largest prisoner exchange agreement Israel has ever made and the highest price Israel has ever paid for a single soldier. Gilad Schalit was also the first captured Israeli soldier to be released alive in 26 years.
Five years and four months after Schalit was captured by Palestinian militants in southern Israel, a deal was reached between Israel and Hamas to release Schalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners. The deal was brokered by German and Egyptian mediators and signed in Egypt on 11 October 2011. Its first phase was executed on 18 October, with Israel releasing 450 Palestinian prisoners and Hamas transferring Schalit to Cairo.
On 18 October 2011, Gilad Schalit was returned to Israel as part of the agreement with Hamas. Hamas militants during the exchange wore suicide belts in the event that Israel tried to change the terms at the last minute. The first 447 Palestinian prisoners were also freed and transferred as part of the exchange, the prisoners were also exiled from Israeli territory.
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