Shalit handed over to Israel, ending 5-year ordeal

Reuters , Tuesday 18 Oct 2011

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held in captivity by the Islamist group Hamas since June 2006, was handed over to Israeli officials on Tuesday, Israeli media reported

In this image from Egypt TV Tuesday Oct 18 2011 Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit is seen at an undisclosed location in the Gaza- Egypt border area accompanied by Hamas guards as he is moved in to Egypt from captivity in Gaza beginning an elaborate prisoner swap deal in which hundreds of Palestinian inmates are to be freed in return for the captured tank crewman. (AP Photo)

Israeli television showed Shalit in Egyptian footage shot earlier in the day walking briskly to a vehicle after he was freed by Hamas officials. It was the first video of Shalit since 2009.

Simultaneously, Israel was due to free 477 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday, with witnesses seeing a first batch arriving in Gaza. A further 550 Palestinians are set for release later this year.

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