Saturday, February 28, 2009

Olmert "infuriated" when Shin-Bet intercepted Hamas discussing the identity of Olmert's "missionary" family member...

Sometimes, aggressions happen for the most trivial of things. ... In the Guardian, here

"...It was a channel of communication that was abruptly closed, allegedly when Israel's domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet intercepted members of Hamas discussing the identity of the Olmert family member involved in passing on the messages, infuriating Olmert.

A year after the first contacts, Baskin told the Observer, he had been given approval to pursue an informal effort to open secret direct contacts, co-ordinating with Ofer Dekel, the official appointed by Olmert as his "special representative" to head efforts for Shalit's return.This time, however, it was Hamas's turn to block the opening of the secret negotiations - rejecting the linking of the prisoner exchange with the cease-fire and the end of the siege...With the conflict only two weeks away Baskin arranged a meeting with his key Hamas contact in Europe, which resulted in another offer to link Shalit to the lifting of the ceasefire. Nobody on the Israeli side replied to the final offer."

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