JERUSALEM--Assassinated Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari might have been involved in backdoor peace negotiations at the time he was killed, an activist says.
Gershon Baskin, founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, was an intermediary between Hamas and Israel in negotiating the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit a year ago. According to their website, the Center is an institution run jointly by Israelis and Palestinians that is devoted to resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and working toward “two states for two peoples.”
In an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Baskin says that Jabari had just received a draft of a peace agreement hours before he was killed by Israeli forces.
According to the article:
Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.
“I think that they have made a strategic mistake,” Baskin said, an error “which will cost the lives of quite a number of innocent people on both sides.”
“This blood could have been spared. Those who made the decision must be judged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this,” he added.