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Shalit's condition leaves Israel second-guessing delay in his release [View All]

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King_David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-11 06:07 PM
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Shalit's condition leaves Israel second-guessing delay in his release
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Sheera Frenkel McClatchy Newspapers

JERUSALEM One day after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit returned home after five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip, a deep sense of dissatisfaction settled over Israel Wednesday as questioning began of why it took so long for negotiators to win his release.

The emotion of the second-guessing was heightened by Shalit's obviously fragile physical condition upon his return. He clearly had been kept from sunshine for years. In addition, doctors who are treating him reported that the wounds he suffered when he was captured in 2006 had been "incorrectly treated" while he was a prisoner and that he appeared to have been confined in a manner that prevented him from exercising, adding to his weakness.

Israelis who watched Shalit emerge from his captivity expressed shock at his gaunt and pale form.

Israeli soldier Shalit probably spent years under ground, doctors say "Why did he have to wait this long?" asked Ohad Kerner, one of the activists who had fought for his release.

"From what we are hearing, it seems like maybe he could have come home sooner. It was just that the leaders weren't ready to make a deal," she said.

The Shalits, according to those close to them, also are upset over reports that a deal could have been reached sooner, though they have refrained from criticizing the government publicly.

Others wondered why, if Israeli officials were going to agree to release more than 1,000 prisoners, they hadn't gone ahead and done so years ago as reports surfaced that such a deal had been negotiated before and rejected.

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