TEL NOF, Israel – Less than an hour after the IDF soldier’s release and return to Israel, an IAF helicopter transported him to Tel Nof air base in central Israel, where he met his loved ones
After returning to Israel just before noon on Tuesday, Shalit underwent a physical examination. IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said his medical condition was “good and stable”.
Netanyahu told the parents, Noam and Aviva, at the start of the reunion at the Tel Nof Israel Air Force base, south-east of Tel Aviv, where Gilad was helicoptered from the border with Egypt ‘
I have brought your boy home.’
When he received the soldier, he said, ‘Shalom (hello) Gilad, welcome back to the state of Israel.
‘It is so good to see you home.’
No media was allowed to be present at the emotional reunion.
PRAY FOR HEALING
Shalit showered, put on an IDF uniform and spoke with his parents before flying to Tel Nof.
At the base, he met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
The freed Israeli soldier entered the Kerem Shalom crossing just before noon on Tuesday and was greeted by Israeli army officers, including OC Southern Command, Major General Tal Rousso.
Shalit said that he received word of his expected release last week.
“I’ve felt it coming in the past month. I’m very excited.”
At the beginning of the interview, Gilad was asked about his medical condition, to which he replied:
“I don’t feel so well from the whole affair.”
However, he was translated back into Arabic as saying: “I feel good.”
The first images of Shalit were aired at 1030 Israel time, as he was seen escorted by Egyptian security personnel at a terminal in Egypt.
Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas’ military wing, was one of those seen leading Shalit in the video.
EGYPTIAN TV INTERVIEW
In an interview broadcast by Egyptian television on Tuesday moments after he was transferred into Egyptian custody, Shalit said,
“I thought I’d find myself in this situation for many years to come”.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE
See Related: Palestinians celebrate release of prisoners
See Related: Gilad Shalit Agreement Archive