Thinking the unthinkable: Israeli occupation instead of a ceasefire


By James M. Dorsey

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Hostage negotiator Gershon Baskin and his Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad. Credit: The Turbulent World

A former Israeli hostage negotiator suggests Hamas may be willing to shift the paradigm in Gaza ceasefire negotiations.

The problem is that Israel is not interested, while Hamas’ commitment to the idea is unclear.

Moreover, negotiations mediated by the United States, Qatar, and Egypt have for months failed to bridge the gap between Hamas’s demand that a ceasefire be permanent and entail a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Israel’s insistence that the war will continue after a temporary pause that would allow for a prisoner exchange.

Even so, the suggestion has intriguing implications.

Gershon Baskin, who negotiated the exchange in 2011 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after five years in Hamas captivity for…



James M. Dorsey
The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

James is an award-winning journalist covering ethnic and religious conflict. He blogs using soccer as a lens on the Middle East and North Africa's fault lines