Here is a look at the life of Gilad Shalit, a former Israeli soldier abducted and imprisoned by the military wing of Hamas from 2006 to 2011.
Birth date: August 28, 1986
Birth place: Naharia, Israel
Father: Noam Shalit
Mother: Aviva Shalit
Military service: Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 2005-2011, Sergeant-Major
Held captive for 1,942 days (from 2006 to 2011) by Hamas, the militant Palestinian movement that controls Gaza.
Gilad Shalit was 19 at the time of his capture.
Dual citizen of France and Israel.
While in captivity, Shalit was promoted three times, from corporal to ultimately sergeant-major.
July 2005 - Begins his military service with IDF's 188th Armored Brigade.
June 25, 2006 - Through an underground cross-border tunnel hundreds of meters long, Palestinian militants attack an Israeli military post. Three militants and two Israeli soldiers, Lieutenant Hanan Barak and Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutzker, die from the conflict. Another Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit is taken through the tunnel to Gaza.
-- Three militant groups later claim responsibility for Shalit's abduction -- Izzedine Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas; the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group that includes militants from Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas; and the Army of Islam. The Palestinian government denies any knowledge of the attack.
June 26, 2006 - Palestinian militants distribute a statement saying if Israel agrees to release all Palestinian female prisoners and children under 18 being held in Israeli jails, the militants will provide information about Shalit. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejects the proposal, saying that there "will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements."
September 2006 - Egyptian mediators deliver a handwritten letter, allegedly from Shalit, to his family.
February 2008 - According to Israeli media reports, Hamas forwards a letter, allegedly written by Shalit, to Israel.
October 2, 2009 - The Israeli government receives a video of Shalit, proving that he's still alive. In exchange for the video, Israel releases 20 Palestinian female prisoners and detainees.
June 2010-October 2011 - Shalit's parents lead a 12-day march from their home in northern Israel to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem. Then, they camp out there for over a year to draw attention to their son's plight.
June 23, 2011 - The International Committee of the Red Cross demands that the Hamas movement in Gaza provide proof that Gilad Shalit is still alive, five years after being captured. Hamas refuses.
December 18, 2011 - Phase two of the prisoner swap takes place, in which 550 Palestinian prisoners are released. Israel released a total of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the two stages, in exchange for Shalit.
April 2012 - Shalit is officially released from the Israel Defense Forces.
June 2012 - Becomes a sports columnist for an Israeli newspaper.