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October 12, 2012 9:58 am

Gilad Shalit Offers Glimpse of Life Under Hamas in First Interview Since Release

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From left to right, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Gilad Shalit (holding a crystal "Big Apple" in a Tiffany's box), and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City Hall on June 25, the sixth anniversary of the day Hamas captured Shalit. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Nearly a full year has passed since Gilad Shalit was released from Hamas captivity and returned home to Israel, and now he has given his first interview to the media.

Speaking with Israel’s Channel 10 news, Shalit revealed what he did during the day to pass time, who he saw while his kidnappers held him for over 5 years, and the feeling he had on the day of his release.

“During the day I would play with all kinds of games.  Chess, dominoes, and I played all sorts of things with myself, strange games” Shalit said. “I would make a ball of socks or a shirt and I would throw it in the trash. I would invent all sorts of things.”

Shalit says he also used to write but was wary of doing so because he didn’t want to antagonize his captors.

“I’d hide it sometimes, because some did not like my writing,” he said. “Some thought I was collecting information.”

On the day of his release, after being denied contact with the outside world from June of 2006 until October of 2011, Shalit says it felt strange to be surrounded by so many people when he was transferred to Egyptian authorities.

“During the trip I felt a lot of pressure. You never know if something will happen, if they will try to harm us, if something goes wrong at the last minute,” Shalit said.  “And as soon as I got out and went to Egypt I had a sense of relief. Suddenly I see before me dozens, hundreds, after having seen no more than a few people all these years, suddenly you see this flurry around you”

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