Gilad Shalit heads to NBA All-Star Game in Orlando

Shalit at Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game (Photo: AFP)

WASHINGTON – Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier released last October after five years of captivity in Gaza, is spending a holiday in the United States with a friend. As part of his trip, Shalit will watch the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando having received tickets for all three events from leading sports agent Arn Tellem.

Before leaving for the US, Shalit met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who helped expedite his visa application process.

This is Shalit’s second overseas trip since his release. Last month, the soldier met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Sarkozy was involved in efforts for Gilad’s release and met with Noam and Aviva Shalit numerous times over the years.

For the most part the freed soldier has been keeping a low profile – exceptions including an appearance at a Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game and the opening of his own Facebook account.

Shalit was released on October 18 after five years in Hamas captivity in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.