Noam Schalit: Gilad underwent difficult things in captivity

Gilad Schalit needs his time to transition back to normal life, his father says; President Peres is expected to visit this week.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 20, 2011 19:59
2 minute read.
Noam Schalit speaks with reporters in Mitzpe Hila

Noam Schalit speaks with reporters in Mitzpe Hila 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
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Noam Schalit on Thursday responded to a Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) claim that his son Gilad was treated well in captivity, saying, "he underwent some difficult things."

"It's true that in the later stages [of Gilad's captivity] his conditions improved," he noted, but warned that Hamas statements should be taken with a grain of salt, speaking with the media outside the family home in Mitzpe Hila.

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Gilad is feeling well, Noam said. "He's beginning to leave the house," he noted, saying that he went for a walk and a bicycle ride and had been playing ping pong.

"He met with friends from school and from [Mitzpe Hila]," the freed soldier's father said.

However, he added that Gilad "needs his time to transition after this very long period - almost five-and-a-half years without sunlight," saying that he's suffering from a medical condition because of the lack of exposure to light.

In the coming days, he told reporters, Gilad "will continue [his] medical treatment and begin returning to normal life."

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He will not be coming to speak with the media, Noam said, reminding reporters "that he's still a soldier" and is therefore restricted by IDF regulations about speaking with the media. He's also not in the proper state to do speak with so many people at once.

Asked about Gilad's awareness of outside events during his captivity, Noam said that his son had access to a radio and was able to listen to Israel Radio and Army Radio.

He added that Gilad was aware of Operation Cast Lead as it was happening, saying that of course he heard the sounds of war around him. "He was aware of what was happening."

President Shimon Peres was expected to visit the Schalit family in the coming week, Noam said, although no details of the visit had been finalized.

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