Gershon Baskin was the initiator and the person responsible for the secret back channel between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilead Schalit. Baskin is the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) - a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy institute located in Jerusalem and served as its co-director from March 1988-2011. Since January 2012 he has been the Co-Chairman of IPCRI’s Board of Directors.
During the premiership of Yitzhak Rabin, he served as an adviser on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a secret team of intelligence officers established by the Prime Minister. He was a member of the Jerusalem Experts Committee established by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office during the Final Status Negotiations in 2000-2001. He holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from University of Greenwich. His dissertation was on Sovereignty and Territory in the Future of Jerusalem, parts of which were published as a book Jerusalem of Peace. He has a regular column in the Jerusalem Post and for two years hosted a show on All for Peace Radio. In 2013 his book on the secret back channel negotiations for Gilad Schalit will be released in Hebrew and English.