Report: Olmert's family member passed messages to PM from Hamas

Hamas made an attempt to forge a secret communications channel with Israel in the period leading up to Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, at one point involving a member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's family to transfer a message to the premier, according to a report in the British weekly The Observer Sunday. The report makes the assertion that Hamas's effort to establish "a direct line of communication" with Israel "fundamentally alters the narrative of the build to the war in Gaza" and quotes veteran peace activist Gershon Baskin as saying that he was "at the center" of the failed attempt. The paper did not divulge the identity of the member of Olmert's family and the role that person played in conveying messages to the prime minister, saying only that it was aware of the family member's identity.