Lessons from Shalit to help Israeli soldiers in the future

Gilad Shalit on the day of his return to Israel

Gilad Shalit on the day of his return to Israel

Nearly a year after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was freed in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, Israeli military leaders are hoping to draw lessons from his experience.

According to a report in Ha'aretz newspaper, the army is now training soldiers from elite units about what to expect should they be taken captive, using information given to them by Sergeant Shalit.

The details of the new prisoner of war training, introduced after Sergeant Shalit's debrief was completed, is likely to include advice about coping for prolonged periods of isolation and other emotional questions.

Sergeant Shalit was part of a long list of Israeli soldiers who have been kidnapped, but he is the only one to return home after such a lengthy period of captivity.

Next week the soldier will celebrate his 26th birthday, the first he will be able to mark with his family since he was taken by Hamas terrorists during a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Last updated: 9:08am, August 20 2012