Noam Schalit: We've experienced the rebirth of our son

Gilad Schalit's father says his son has begun a long healing process; says Gilad suffered from a lack of sunlight, interaction with others.

Noam Schalit 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Noam Schalit 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Noam Schalit said that Gilad's homecoming from captivity in the Gaza Strip was like experiencing the rebirth of his son, speaking with reporters outside the family home in Mitzpe Hila on Tuesday, and shared some details of his captivity.
"Gilad is happy to be at home," Noam said, explaining that the public exposure was difficult for his son.
Schalit: I thought I'd be held captive for years to come
Mitzpe Hila reacts joyously to first Schalit photos
Schalit stressed that Gilad was suffering after being "in isolation so many days and years." "He had no connection with his people, with his own his language."
Noam said the family felt as if it "was experiencing the rebirth of their son," and thanked supporters for their efforts in the long campaign to bring his son home.
Noam said he hoped his son's healing process would be as quick as possible, after more than five years in captivity.
Gilad said that at the beginning he was held in difficult conditions, Noam recounted, adding that his conditions later improved.
Noam said that Gilad feels well, but suffers some health problems due to his lengthy solitary confinement and maltreatment, including problems related to a lack of sunlight.
He is being treated by the IDF, Noam said.
"We, of course, thank the public that supported us all this way and all the activists who were with us this whole time, accompanying us until the very last step," Noam said.
"We want to thank IDF officials, and the government, who helped complete this operation."
Schalit said that he appreciated the hard work of "the government, prime minister, and defense minister."
Noam said he "understands the price we are paying for Gilad's release," and that he can feel the pain of families who lost loved ones in terror attacks.
Over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange for Noam's son, who was captured in June, 2006 and held in Gaza until Tuesday.
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