Gilad Shalit marked his 26th birthday with a lavish house party that was thrown for him in north Tel Aviv.
The soiree took place in the posh neighborhood of Tzahala, at the home of Shalit's friend and writing partner Arik Henig. The revelers, who gathered to celebrate the former soldier's first birthday since being freed from Hamas captivity, enjoyed a feast of sushi.
"We wish Gilad a good, normal life," Henig said.
Enjoy first birthday cake in years (Photo: Amit Magal)
Henig, who co-writes a sports column with Shalit, said that the birthday boy doesn't show even the slightest indication of the hardship that he has endured.
Former basketball player Doron Jamchi, who attended the bash, said that he bonded with the Shalit family while Gilad was imprisoned by the terrorist group.
Shalit mingles at his birthday bash (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
"Since he has come back from captivity, Gilad has been enjoying himself, playing basketball with friends and corresponding on Facebook," he said. "You can see that the smile has come back to his face. I think that when he has fun, the entire nation has fun with him.
Also among the guests was Actress Sandra Sade, who said she had always believed that Shalit would one day come home.
"We believed it would happen deep in our hearts," she said. "Gilad is just an amazing guy."
Shalit with Jamchi (Photo: Amit Magal)
His family was not in attendance.
Shalit was freed as part of a prisoner swap in October, after being held in Gaza for over five years. The young man, whose actual birthday took place on Tuesday, thanked everyone who supported the campaign for his release in a Yedioth Ahornoth column.
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