Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

Gilad Shalit Fast Facts

(CNN)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
    Other Facts:
    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."
    June 28, 2006 - Israel launches a military incursion into southern Gaza to rescue Shalit, but fails to free him.
    September 2006 - Egyptian mediators deliver a handwritten letter, allegedly from Shalit, to his family.
    June 25, 2007 - An audiotape is released, in which Shalit claims his health is deteriorating and that he needs to go the hospital.
    February 2008 - According to Israeli media reports, Hamas forwards a letter, allegedly written by Shalit, to Israel.
    June 9, 2008 - Parents Noam and Aviva Shalit receive a letter from their son Gilad, according to the Carter Center, which arranged delivery of the message.
    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.
    October 2011 - Hamas agrees to a prisoner exchange: 1,027 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit. The Israeli Cabinet approves the swap 26-3.
    October 18, 2011 - Gilad Shalit is released in exchange for 477 Palestinian prisoners in phase one of the prisoner swap.
    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.