Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Gilad Shalit on his way home to Israel

    Gilad Shalit
    Gilad Shalit

    Gilad Shalit is on his way home after more than five years as a prisoner of Hamas.

    The Israeli soldier was released in Gaza early this morning into the hands of Egyptian mediators, as part of the first stage in a prisoner swap deal.

    A Hamas spokesman said; "The captured soldier handover process is under way.”

    He is to undergo a medical examination before being taken across the border into Israel at the Kerem Shalom crossing and flown to the Tel Nof Air Force base to be reunited with his family.

    His father, Noam, said: "You can say this is one of the happiest days of my life."

    In total, 1027 Palestinian prisoners will be freed before their sentences are finished in return for Sergeant Shalit, who was 19 when he was captured by terrorists at the Gaza border.

    Today, 27 female prisoners and 450 male ones are being released, with the remainder to follow before the end of the year.

    The soldier was released despite the attempts by the families of terror victims, who asked Israel's high court to stop the release of Palestinians convicted of some of the worst terror attacks in Israel’s history.

    But the judges said they were not entitled to interfere in Israeli government policy. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said: “It is clear that Gilad Shalit's fate depends on these hours. Any change to the agreement may prevent it from being carried out and could even endanger Gilad's life.”

    Sergeant Shalit’s continued imprisonment has been a rallying point in Israel and for Jews around the world, who have campaigned for Hamas to release him. In the years that he was a captive, Hamas refused to allow the Red Cross access on humanitarian grounds and gave only a few indications of his welfare.

    His release has prompted celebrations in Israel and further afield. There are still several other Israeli soldiers who remain classified as missing in action, including Ron Arad, who was captured when his plane was shot down in Lebanon in 1986.

Israel

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’

Anshel Pfeffer

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

‘Gifts for Bibi’ investigation is ‘in final straight’
Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
Israel

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...

JC Reporter

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...
Israel

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective
Israel

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...

Orlando Radice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...
Israel

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...

JC Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...
Israel

Bibi faces probe over subs deal

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bibi faces probe over subs deal