In full: Messages from Gilad Shalit

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Several messages have been received from the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit since he was seized by Palestinian militants close to the Gaza Strip in June 2006.


A video recording of Sgt Shalit was received in exchange for the release of 20 female prisoners. The young soldier appears to be in reasonable health, stands up and walks towards the camera, and includes a personal memory that his captors are unlikely to have known about.

"Hi, I am Gilad Shalit, son of Aviva and Noam Shalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel, from Mitzpe Hilla, ID number 300097029. Today is Monday 14 September 2009.

"As you can see, I'm holding in my hand today's Palestine newspaper, 14th September 2009, which is published in Gaza.

"I'm reading the newspaper in order to find information about myself, and I hope to find information about my release and return home soon.

"I have been waiting and yearning a long time for the day I will be released.

"I hope the current government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu will not waste this opportunity to finalise the deal and that as a result I will finally be able to realise my dream and be released.

"I want to send my regards to my family, to tell them that I love them and miss them a lot, and yearn for the day that I will see them.

"Father, Yoel and Hadas, do you remember the day when you arrived at my base in Ramat Ha-Golan, on 31 December 2005, which, if I'm not mistaken, is called Revia Bet? We did a tour around the base. You took a picture of me on top of the Merkava tank, and on top of one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base.

"Afterwards, we drove to a restaurant in one of the Druze villages, and on the way we took a picture on the side of the road with the snow-covered Mount Hermon.

"I want to tell you that I am well in terms of my health. The mujahideen of the Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades are treating me fine.

"Thank you very much and see you again."


A letter in Sgt Shalit's handwriting was faxed to the Carter Center in June 2008. Some or all of its content may have been dictated by his captors:

Image caption,
The letter received from Gilad Shalit in June 2008

"Dear Mother and Father and my dear family,

"I miss you very much. Two long and hard years have passed for me since I was parted from you and was forced to begin living in captivity.

"I continue to suffer from health and psychological difficulties and much depression, which is characteristic of this type of life. As in my former letters, I very much hope that your health and mental condition has not deteriorated since you started living without me.

"I still keep thinking and dreaming about the day I will be freed and meet you again. And I am still hopeful that this day is close - but I know that this does not depend on either me or you.

"I appeal to the government not to neglect the negotiations for my release by putting their efforts into obtaining the release of the soldiers in Lebanon.

"Missing you, Gilad, June 2008."


Hamas published an audio message on its website, in which Sgt Shalit's family said the voice was authentic. Some or all of the wording was widely thought to have been written by his captors:

"I, the soldier Gilad, son of Noam Shalit, held by the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

"Mother and father, my sister and my brother, my friends in the Israel Defence Forces: I send you from jail regards and my longing for all of you.

"An entire year has passed with me in jail and still my health condition is deteriorating and I need extensive hospitalisation.

"I am sorry for the lack of interest by the Israeli government and the army in my case and in the demands of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

"It is clear that they must accede to these demands in order that I may be released from jail, especially as I was involved in a military operation under orders and I was not a drugs dealer.

"Just as I have parents, a mother and a father, the thousands of Palestinian detainees also have mothers and fathers who must have their sons returned.

"I have great faith in my government that it will take more of an interest in me and will answer the demands of the mujahideen.

"Cpl Gilad Shalit"


The following letter, received three months after Sgt Shalit was captured, was released to the Israeli media in September 2009. It was also in the soldier's handwriting, although his use of the Arabic word "mujahideen" and the Arabic name for the kidnap location has prompted the assumption that parts or all of it were dictated by his captors.

"To my mother and father, brothers and friends, I send you shalom.

"My health is deteriorating daily, I am especially struggling emotionally and this is causing me much depression. I am waiting for this intolerable human nightmare to end and to be released from the closed and isolated prison, especially since my 20th birthday has gone by, which I had hoped we would celebrate together.

"I appeal to my government, and especially Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz, to do everything in their power to release me as soon as possible because every day that goes by hurts me more, and to consent to the requests of mujahideen that detained me from within a tank near Kerem Abu Salem. I hope you will do everything so that I can celebrate Rosh Hashana and Sukkot at home.

"The prisoner in the hands of the Palestinian mujahideen,

"Gilad Shalit"

Gilad Shalit was a corporal at the time of his capture, but has since been promoted to the rank of sargeant.

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