6 months later: Schalit to be discharged from IDF

Released last October from Hamas captivity, soldier will be discharged with rank of sergeant-major.

April 18, 2012 10:08
Gilad Schalit smiles outside his Mitzpe Hila home

Gilad Schalit smiles outside his Mitzpe Hila home 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

Gilad Schalit was expected to be discharged from the IDF on Wednesday, six months after being released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip. Having been promoted while in captivity, Schalit will be discharged with the rank of sergeant-major.

IDF Manpower Division officials visited Schalit at his Mitzpe Hila home on Tuesday to complete his discharge paperwork. As a result, the soldier will not need to make his release official at an IDF induction base.

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Last month, the Defense Ministry announced it would recognize Schalit as a disabled IDF veteran upon his release from active service. Recognition was granted per request by Schalit.

The Defense Ministry said that his request was expedited due to the circumstances surrounding his service, which was spent in Hamas captivity.

Schalit was released from Hamas captivity last October in a prisoner exchange deal that saw 1,027 Palestinian prisoners freed for the soldier, who was kidnapped in 2006 from his tank along the Gaza Strip border.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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