Gilad Shalit salutes Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after landing in IDF airbase in the center of Israel. Gilad Shalit was released today (18-10-11) form hamas captivity, after 5 and a half years.
Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit was released today after more than five years in Hamas captivity. While holding Sgt. 1st Class Shalit in captivity, the Hamas terrorist organization denied repeated requests by the Red Cross in Gaza to monitor his condition and limited contact with him to only letters and video tapes. On October 18, 2011, the Shalit family was reunited with Sgt. 1st Class Shalit.
Sgt. 1st Class Shalit was 19 years old at the time of his abduction. He is the son of Aviva and Noam Shalit and the brother of Yoel and Hadas. Sgt. 1st Class Shalit excels in math, graduating with distinction from the science class of Manor Kabri High School. He is also a major sports fan, with a passion for playing basketball.
Gilad Shalit (rank at the time: Cpl.) was kidnapped early on Sunday June 25, 2006. A terrorist cell attacked Shalit’s tank that was defending the security fence near the southern Gaza Strip. The terrorists crossed the border using an underground tunnel dug near the Kerem Shalom crossing. During the attack, the tank commander, First Lt. Hanan Barak, and another soldier in the tank, Staff Sgt. Pavel Slotzker were killed. Four of the soldiers in the post were injured and terrorists kidnapped Shalit into the Gaza Strip, using the tunnel they dug.
In response to the kidnapping, the IDF began Operation Summer Rains in the Gaza Strip on June 28, 2006 and lasted through November 26, 2006. Ground forces entered the Gaza Strip for the first time since the unilateral disengagement was executed.