• Isaac Simon

Captured IDF Soldier, Gilad Shalit Returned for 1,027 Palestinian Prisoners, 2011

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 18, 2011



#onthisday, 2011, Gilad Shalit was released and sent back to Israel. Gilad Shalit, a former MIA soldier of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was, on 25 June 2006, captured by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid via tunnels near the Israeli border.


The Israeli government exchanged Shalit for 1,027 prisoners – that were mainly Palestinians, Ukrainian, Jordanian and Syrian. Two-hundred and eighty of these had been sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Israeli citizens.


This agreement is the largest prisoner exchange agreement Israel has ever made and the highest price Israel has ever paid for a single soldier. Gilad Shalit was also the first captured Israeli soldier to be released alive in 26 years.


The agreement is implemented in two stages:

In the first stage, Gilad Shalit was transferred from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and from there to Israel; concurrently, Israel released 477 prisoners.

In the second stage, which took place two months later, another 550 prisoners were released.


According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, 79% of the Israeli people supported the exchange,with 14% of the population opposed.


Hamas held him captive for over five years, until his release on 18 October 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.




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