Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was abducted by Hamas and returned in a 2011 prisoner exchange, met with lone soldiers in Jerusalem today, calling their service in the IDF “courageous.”
“I admire each one of you for what you are doing for our country,” he said. “Your decision to leave your families and friends and make aliyah on your own and join the army is truly courageous and admirable. Although you are far from your own families, you are not alone- we are all one family and are here to support you and make you feel most welcome as Israeli citizens,” he said.
“Lone soldiers” refer to immigrants who serve in the IDF, with their families remain outside Israel. Shalit met with the soldiers at the Nefesh B’Nefesh office in Jerusalem, where he joined them for ping-pong and billiards.