This wek, Gilad Shalit gave his first full interview on Israeli television since being returned to Israel from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip this time last year.
Shalit recalled several episodes from his five years in captivity, time in which he never saw the sun and had scant contact with other people.
The Israeli soldier recalled Ron Arad, another Israeli soldier who was captured by enemy combatants in 1986 and how he had disappeared and sated he feared the same fate. Shalit explained that in that case, "the negotiation has gotten irrelevant with time. There is no one to talk to and negotiate with. No one knows where he is. I was afraid the same thing would happen to me. The people would forget me and there would be no one to talk to."
He explained how during the years locked away the small things that were allowed hence: "television, radio, proper food," and "the fact they did not abuse me so much," coupled with "a constant schedule, a daily itinerary, activities," kept him sane during all those years locked in the dark.
Recalling the day he was released from the pit he was locked up in Shalit stated he knew it would take some time to recover from all the media attention he "couldn't just go outside right away and meet everybody. I needed some time, taking it slow. I was thrilled and happy. But on the other hand, couldn't contain everything, all the people, the enthusiasm. I was also shut down. I didn't talk much. What I'm saying to you now, this conversation, is more than everything I said in those five years."
Upon being asked if he will send his children to the army Shalit stated that, "won't be easy, but the bottom line is the state released me. The deal was made and the state paid the price, so I have no doubt my children would recruit. I hope that until then, recruitment won't be a necessity, but I believe it would be."
The interview can be read in its entirety at Jewish Journal.