While a prisoner of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Gilad Shalit played chess and dominoes with his captors, and passed the time with other “strange games” when he was on his own. Shalit, who was freed in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas a year ago, spoke about his time in captivity in a clip from an interview that was aired by Channel 10 News on Thursday.
Shalit, an avid basketball fan, said that he would play makeshift sports, throwing “balls” — which he would create out of socks and shirts — into a trash can. He also said that he would write when he could: He created various lists in order to remember things; and played a 1-player game he invented that was similar to Scattergories. Shalit drew a map of Israel, of his neighborhood and the homes in it, he said, and would “imagine places” so as not to forget them.
Shalit said that, upon being transferred into Egyptian custody on the day of his release, he immediately felt “lighter,” and noted that the female Egyptian journalist who interviewed him shortly before he was handed over to Israel was the first woman he had seen in some five and a half years.
On his first night home, Shalit said, he fell asleep around 9 p.m. and woke up around 2 o’clock in the morning. He walked around his house, looked out the windows and noticed guards and Border Police, in place for his and his family’s protection, in the family garden.