Gilad Shalit: video of captured Israeli soldier

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009
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The video, filmed on September 14, shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

He says: "Hello, this is Gilad, son of Noam and Aviva Shalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel who live in Mitzpe Hila. My ID number is 97027.

"As you can see I am holding today's Falasteen newspaper published in Gaza

"I read the newspaper in order to find information about myself, and in hopes of reading about information of my return home and my imminent release."

"I hope the current government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu doesn't waste this opportunity to reach an agreement and as a result, allow me to fulfill my dream and be released."

"I wish to send my well-wishes to my family and tell them that I love them and miss them greatly, and hope for the day I'll see them again.

"Dad, Yoel, and Hadas, do you remember the day you arrived at my base in the Golan Heights, on December 31, 2005? We toured around the base and you took a picture of me on a Merkava tank and on one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base.

"Later we went to a restaurant in one of the Druze villages and on the way we took pictures on the side of the road, against the backdrop of the snowy Hermon Mountain."

"I want to tell you that I feel well in medical terms, and that the Mujahidin from the al-Qassam Brigades are treating me excellently. Thank you very much and goodbye,"

The video is also over two minutes long, not one minute as was previously reported.

Shalit is clean-shaven and holding a newspaper with the correct date on it, sitting in a whitewashed room.

Israeli press reports say that Shalit is talking about an incident from his past in the short film.

Israel agreed to release 20 Palestinian woman prisoners in exchange for the video, the first released of Shalit since his capture in 2006.

International aid organisations are denied access to the solider and no news had been heard from him since a letter in 2008 and an audio message in 2007.

Egyptian and German mediators negotiated the decision to release the women in exchange for the video.

Last updated: 9:50am, October 5 2009