After over five years in Hamas captivity, Gilad Shalit to return to Israel on Tuesday
On Sunday evening (October 16), IDF officials, including Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, presented Defense Minister Ehud Barak with the final details of the transfer of Glad Shalit to Israel that will take place on Tuesday (October 18).
Barak approved the plan which will ensure the coordinated release of Palestinian prisoners and the transfer of Shalit to Israel.
Various details, including security arrangements for the exchange, were discussed during the meeting.
"Gilad Shalit will return to his country and his family after being held for more than five years by Hamas," Barak said.
Barak added that Shalit would be welcomed with a modest reception, emphasizing the needs of Shalit and his family.
Shalit will be transferred to Israel via Egypt on Tuesday morning. When Shalit arrives in Israel, he will be checked by a doctor. At the same time, Shalit will speak with his family by telephone. Within a short time period, Shalit will be flown to the Tel Nof Airbase where he will meet his family. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be present. While at Tel Nof, Shalit will undergo additional medical and psychological tests.
Lt. Gen. Gantz visited the Shalit family last Thursday and updated them on details regarding Gilad’s return.
Commander of the Manpower Directorate, Lt. Gen. Orna Barbivai, and IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai also took part in that visit.
The agreement to free Shalit was approved during a night cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (October 11). During the meeting, defense establishment leaders including Lt. Gen. Gantz, Israel Security Agency chief Yoram Cohen, Mossad chief Tamir Perdo and the prime minister’s representative David Meidan, evaluated and supported the exchange agreement.