Gilad Shalit on Tuesday traveled from his home in Mitzpe Hila to a military facility in central Israel for medical examinations. Shalit, who was released last week after over five years in Hamas captivity, returned home in the afternoon hours, accompanied by his parents and an IDF representative.
- Father flew with Ron Arad, Son brought Gilad Shalit home
Meanwhile, the northern community of Mitzpe Hila was slowly returning to normal, and for the first time in two weeks the pastoral place was almost empty of visitors. Chairman of the Mitzpe Hila local committee, Mor Tarzi, said that the local residents "were yearning for this peacefulness for five an a half years, waiting for the time when Gilad will return and life would go back to normal," he said.
Gilad Shalit returns from medical examinations (Photo: Hagai Aharon)
Over the weekend, while Shalit was relaxing at home with his family, his IDF unit, the 188th Barak Armored Brigade, was called up for a surprise drill that included vehicle maneuvering, and combat in different terrains.
The Barak brigade returned to the headlines last week due to the release of the most famous soldier to ever serve in its ranks.
Brigade Commander Colonel Shmulik Olanski said "it was very exciting to see Gilad return to his family and to his people," adding that "it was exciting sevenfold to see him wearing the brigade cap on his head."
Olanski spoke with Shalit's parents after his return, and is set to visit Mitzpe Hila in the next few weeks.
On Monday, President Shimon Peres visited the home of the Shalit family in the first official visit since the return of kidnapped IDF soldier. "The entire nation has followed your progress with concern, we were all thinking of what you were going through alone, in the dark and how you were managing to deal with the disconnection, loneliness and uncertainty. Where did your incredible internal strength come from," the president told Gilad.
Ahiya Raved contributed to this return
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