Israel soldier Gilad Shalit is home and “happy,” but he’s still recovering from five years’ imprisonment, his father says. “In isolation,” Gilad “had no connection with his people, with his own language,” Noam Shalit told members of the media, including the Jerusalem Post. Lack of sunlight and mistreatment in captivity have contributed to health problems, Shalit said, though he noted that prison conditions improved over the years.
Before Gilad’s release, he was interviewed by Egyptian TV, and speaking seemed difficult for him, CBS News notes. Media attention has been difficult for Gilad, his father said. “Naturally he can't be exposed to so many people because he was in isolation so many days and years.” Noam Shalit thanked supporters and acknowledged “the price we are paying for Gilad’s release,” an exchange of some 1,027 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. One freed prisoner said Palestinians should kidnap "another Shalit" every year until all Palestinians are released, notes the New York Times. For video of the release and homecoming, click here.