Sunday, October 4, 2009
From the Jerusalem Post:
After over three years in which IDF Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit has been held in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, Israel breathed a sigh of relief on Friday afternoon after video footage of the captive soldier was released to the media and aired on Israeli television channels.
The two-minute long clip shows Schalit addressing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his parents Noam and Aviva, telling them he is being treated well by the Hamas and is in good health, but yearning for the day on which he will see his family again. Schalit is seen clean shaven with a fresh haircut, wearing dark green clothes.
The video was received in return for the release of 20 Palestinian female prisoners. Israel released 19 of them on Friday morning, 18 to the West Bank and one to Gaza. The 20th prisoner will be released Sunday, after it turned out that a prisoner released Wednesday was finishing her sentence anyway and would therefore be released regardless of the deal.
Gilad Shalit (Hebrew: גלעד שליט, born 28 August 1986) was captured on 25 June 2006 by Palestinian militants in a cross border raid and abducted through the Kerem Shalom crossing (in Israel) and has been held hostage in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since. Shalit, a soldier of the IDF's Armor Corps, held the rank of corporal at the time of the incident but has since been promoted to staff sergeant.
Gilad Shalit, you are not forgotten!
I have been to Gaza - the place is a dump. If the Israelis took that place apart, brick by brick, nobody would ever miss it. - S.L.