Next month will mark ten years since Gilad Shalit was released from his Hamas captors.
"The State is the one who gave me hope. I knew I was going to be released a week before it happened," Shalit said.
Shalit was released in exchange for 1,027 convicted terrorists, many of whom have been returned to prison following their resumption of terror activities.
In a special meeting held recently with Holocaust survivors, Shalit answered questions about his time in captivity. In his statements quoted by Channel 12 News, Shalit said, "The State gave me the hope. The family, the friends. I can say that I had a certain pessimism. Much of the time I was in a situation of uncertainty, because it was impossible to know how it would end."
Hamas, he said, treated him as a kidnapped solider, in his words. "At the end of the day, Hamas as an organization wanted to keep me in good condition, in good physical condition."
When asked how he communicated with his captors, Shalit said, "Some knew Hebrew, some of the older ones worked in Israel, they knew Hebrew. They knew a bit of English. And whoever didn't, so a bit of Arabic."
Shalit knew about Israel's efforts to free him via the Israeli radio: "I was exposed to Israeli media by means of the radio. By the way, it was hard for me to hear it, because all the time it was....all the negotiations would end in disappointment, so it was very depressing to hear it."
On how he is faring now, Shalit said, "As you see, my situation is good. I have passed these years relatively well. It's true, I'm doing some therapy, but in general I have recovered, and today I am an employed person. I got married, I am living a normal, routine life. My time there was hard, it was long."