Noam Shalit: Gilad in "Much Better Condition"

December 5, 2011  

Noam Shalit, father of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit who was recently released over five years in Hamas captivity, updated reporters on Monday about his son’s condition.

“Gilad is fine,” Shalit told reporters. “He is in much better condition than when he was returned to us. He is recovering from surgery, going through physical therapy, and recovering from his ordeal in Gaza.”

Shalit said he knew nothing about a reported hunger strike by his son during his time in Hamas captivity, but did say his son was in very poor health at the time of his release.

“He had to be connected to an IV,” Shalit told reporters. “But this was the result of the totality of conditions he faced – poor nutrition, untreated injuries, and years without sunlight, for example.”

Shalit, who has shielded his son from the press since his release, added Gilad was not prepared for the high profile reception he received.

“Gilad was whisked out of a dark place and the reception that awaited him outside our home was too much for him – he wasn’t ready for it,” Noam Shalit said.

Gilad Shalit, who served with the IDF armor corps, was kidnapped in a cross-border raid by Hamas on 25 June 2006 and held in captivity until he was exchanged for 1,027 terrorists n 18 October 2011.

During his captivity Gilad Shalit was denied visitation by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Numerous human rights organizations have described the conditions of his captivity as being “contrary to international humanitarian law.”

Shalit was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major and given full IDF disability as a former prisoner of war upon his release.

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