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First picture of Gilad out of captivity
Tears of joy in Mitzpe Hila
Photo: Hagai Aharon
|Activists in Shalit protest tent
Photo: Shiran Granot
Ohad Kaner
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Mitzpe Hila rejoices as images of Gilad emerge
Activists in Jerusalem protest tent burst in tears of joy while residents of Mitzpe Hila start dancing spontaneously as first images of Gilad Shalit emerge

The release of the first images of Gilad Shalit brought tears to the eyes of many residents of Mitzpe Hila and prompted some to start dancing with joy. Israelis at the Shalit protest tent in Jerusalem were also overjoyed as the Egyptian TV images emerged.

 

Tears of joy in Jerusalem (Photo: Shiran Granot)
Tears of joy in Jerusalem (Photo: Shiran Granot)
 

Activists in Jerusalem watched the footage on a giant screen and began clapping enthusiastically. Ohad Kaner, a prominent Shalit campaigner, embraced his fellow activists.

 

  • For full coverage of Shalit's return to Israel, click here

 

"It feels like a baby was born, I didn't know Gilad like the other activists, but he's on his feet walking and he'll be here soon."

 

Activists in Jerusalem protest tent (Photo: Shiran Granot) (Photo: Shiran Granot)
Activists in Jerusalem protest tent (Photo: Shiran Granot)
 

Tamar Pross, who is making a documentary film about the Shalit family, was also visibly emotional. "This is the first time I realized he's alive and that this tough time is over. His mothet Aviva will finally be able to hold and kiss him."

 

Emotional at Mitzpe Hila (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)
Emotional at Mitzpe Hila (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)
 

Shimshon Libman, head of the campaign for Gilad's release, said: "I am glad that our struggle for Gilad's return and the image of the State of Israel has ended successfully."

 

Shimshon Libman. End of struggle (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)
Shimshon Libman. End of struggle (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)

 

Shortly prior to the dismantling of the protest tent in Jerusalem, the activists burst in tears of joy at the sight of Gilad's photos. "He's so skinny," one woman observed.

 

The sister of Lieutenant Hanan Barak who was killed in the abduction incident saw the footage from her home in Kfar Warburg. "It’s amazingly exciting. A sense of relief. That's it, he's back. Hanan brought him home. I know he's there with him, holding him. This is a national holiday. Today all are for one."

 

Ronen Medzini contributed to this report

 

 

 

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