After Five Years, Israeli Soldier Galid Shalit Was Freed

Lindsey Cohen, Associate Editor

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, 25, was captured from Israel on June 25, 2006 by Hamas militants in a cross-border bust. Palestinians abducted him near a crossing in Israel. They held him captive for five years in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip returned to Israel through Egypt on October 19, 2011.

Shalit is a citizen of both France and Israel, which stimulated both nations to try and get him released. He was granted no human rights and under the law, should have been arranged visits from The Red Cross. Rescue, diplomatic and negotiation efforts were made from time to time.

Ironically enough at age 11 he wrote a short story called “When the Shark and the Fish First Met” about a fish and a shark who met, brought up to be enemies, but decided to become friends and live in peace.
A cartoon broadcast on Hamas television mocked Shalit and promoted the Hamas kidnapping-for-hostage policy. A cartoon is locked in a cell and whales out for his mother. A young Hamas child laughs at him, saying that Gilad has been rotting there for three years and that no one cares. Not to say this will not happen again but thankfully, a negotiation was made.

A swap deal released Sergeant Gilad Shalit in return for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners who were held hostage in Israel (

Shalit returned home to his village of Mitzpe Hila, filled with welcome home signs. When he learned about his release, he said on Egyptian television, “I always knew I would go home”.