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May 7, 2015 5:25 pm

Report: Former Hamas Captive Gilad Shalit to Move in With Longtime Girlfriend Adi Siegler

avatar by David Daoud

Gilad Shalit upon his return to Israel from Hamas captivity. Photo: IDF.

Former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit and his girlfriend, Adi Siegler, have decided to move in together after a two-year relationship, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the couple made their decision after concluding that their relationship was, in their words, “the real thing,” despite the fact that many have doubted its authenticity.

Sources who know the couple well said, “despite what people are saying, they’re completely in love and there’s no doubt it’s the real thing.”

Shalit and Siegler first met at the Interdisciplinary School in Herzliya, where they both study.

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Shalit became an Israeli national symbol in 2006 after he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid orchestrated through underground tunnels that the terrorist group dug near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip.

Subsequent to his release, debriefings with Shalit revealed that his capture resulted from operational failures.

Hamas held him in captivity for five years, until he was released on October 18, 2011 as part of a lopsided prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, which saw Shalit returned in exchange for the release of 1,027 Israeli Arab and Palestinian convicts. Many of the prisoners had been convicted for the murder of Israeli citizens, including two who were involved in the 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing in downtown Jerusalem.

The deal was brokered by Mossad official David Meidan through a secret back channel run by Dr. Gershon Baskin and Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad. The talks were authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ahmed Jabari, the late head of Hamas’ Izzedine Al-Qassam brigades.

After his release, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and was released from the IDF in April, 2012 with the rank of Sergeant Major. In June of that year, he found employment  as a sports reporter for Yedioth Ahoronoth.

The Shalit deal was the largest prisoner exchange agreement Israel has ever made, and the highest price it has ever paid for a single soldier, making Shalit the first captured Israeli soldier to be released alive in 26 years.

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