Guess who we met on the dancefloor ... Gilad Shalit

By Jennifer Lipman, April 11, 2012
Gilad out on the town in Tel Aviv

Gilad out on the town in Tel Aviv

Young British Jews spending Pesach in Israel found themselves partying alongside Gilad Shalit two days after the former prisoner celebrated his first Seder with his family in six years.

Sergeant Shalit spent Monday evening at the Seret club in Tel Aviv, where he was joined by dozens of revellers from this country.

The soldier, who came home after five years as a prisoner of Hamas in Gaza just before Simchat Torah, has kept a low profile since his return.

But onlookers said the 25-year-old appeared to be enjoying himself with friends at the party.

"He looked good," said Birmingham University student Adam Monty, 21. "He was still quite skinny but it was so nice to see him living a normal life again and out with friends."

A Leeds student, Ronen Feiner, added: "It was a complete shock to see him, he seemed to be having a good night and doing his own thing."

Rob Sciama wrote on Twitter: "Clubbing with Gilad Shalit. How many years have I dreamed I could say that?"

"Someone rushed over to tell me that Gilad Shalit was in the same club, breathing the same air and partying right beside me," wrote blogger Lauren Hasseck. "I was stunned, speechless, in absolute awe. I simply couldn't believe that I was partying with a real hero."

Mr Feiner added: "I thought to myself that his Seder with his family - the first one since his captivity - must have been a strange one, reading a story of how Jews escaped the Egyptians to gain their freedom."

"It feels good," Gilad's father Noam told Ynet. "It's the first time since Gilad was kidnapped when we can really celebrate the holiday. This time it truly feels like a feast of freedom."

Last updated: 3:04pm, April 11 2012