Daily Israel Report

Privacy for Gilad Shalit's Return to Normal Life

Israeli journalists have decided to respect Gilad Shalit's privacy as he begins his struggle to return to normal life.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/23/2011, 12:19 AM

Gilad Shalit and his father Noam
Gilad Shalit and his father Noam
IDF

Israeli journalists have decided to respect Gilad Shalit's privacy as he begins his struggle to return to normal life.

After more than five years in captivity under the thumb of the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza, much of it spent in isolation, IDF Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit is beginning the long, arduous process of getting back into normal society.

But it's not easy, and soon he will also have to cope with the debriefing process in which he will have to begin to answer questions about his experiences in captivity, much of which was undoubtedly traumatic.

Shalit was freed last week in a prisoner exchange deal that saw the release of 477 Palestinian Authority terrorists, the first group of an eventual 1,027 inmates to be let go.

Crossing the border back into Israel, and returning to the company of his parents, neighbors and friends, Shalit noted that he was no longer used to seeing so many people, a fact his father emphasized to journalists on Friday when he commented that his son had been held in "harsh" conditions.

Although he has returned to his parents in Mitzpe Hila, the area around the family home continues to be blocked off to give Shalit the privacy he needs to be able to re-establish his equilibrium, which will take some time.

On Saturday he reportedly took a walk outside with his father, and Thursday evening he attended a Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game.

But specific details of Shalit's daily activities are not likely to be reported in the media.

Israeli journalists have decided to respect the family's privacy and minimize coverage of Shalit's day-to-day progress, which according to reports from former prisoners of war and psychologists, is likely to gradual.

Journalists thus hope to contribute to Shalit's recovery by minimizing as much as possible any trauma from media coverage through avoiding the usual reporters' crowding around the formerly isolated soldier.