JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released from the Israel Defense Forces.
Shalit was officially released, at the rank of sergeant-major, on Wednesday, six months after he was freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza.
He signed his release forms at his northern Israel home in Mitzpe Hila in lieu of going to an IDF induction center as part of an expedited administrative procedure, according to reports.
Shalit was held in Gaza for more than five years after being captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid in June 2006. He was released last October as part of a swap between Israel and Hamas in which nearly 500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails were released at the time of his release, and another 550 in December.
Following his release from Hamas captivity, Shalit was classified as a disabled veteran. He received medical and psychological treatment from the military, and will continue to do so through the Ministry of Defense’s Disabled Rehabilitation Division, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Shin Bet security service highlighted two Palestinian terrorists released in the Shalit swap who have resumed terrorist activity. One who was deported to Gaza wrote guidelines for future abductions, including “The captive should not be hidden in remote locations, caves, or woodland unless it’s a dead body or the captive’s head.” He also tried to recruit young Palestinian residents of the West Bank to kidnap Israelis.
The other was sentenced to 44 months in prison last month for arms trafficking. He also must serve his prison term for his original offense.
Eight Palestinian prisoners released as part of the swap for Shalit have been arrested again for participating in terrorist activity, Haaretz reported.
Photograph: Avi Ohayon/EPA