JERUSALEM (JTA) — Red Cross doctors did not interview freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit before his notorious interview with Egyptian state television, contrary to what the interviewer said.
Investigative journalist Richard Behar writes in Forbes magazine Wednesday that a Red Cross spokesman reported that an International Committee of the Red Cross doctor did not examine Shalit before the Oct. 18 interview, as the interviewer, Egyptian journalist Shahira Amin, claimed in an e-mail to Behar and in an open letter published in The Jerusalem Post.
Amin defended her decision to interview Shalit, saying that the interview was conducted “AFTER [her caps] he had been released by Hamas and had a medical checkup by the Red Cross.”
The Red Cross disputes the claim.
“ICRC representatives met Mr. Shalit briefly after his transfer to the Egyptian authorities," Red Cross spokesman Hicham Hassan told Behar. "However, he was not met by an IRC doctor as this has [sic] not been solicited.”
In a statement issued by the Red Cross on the day that Shalit was released, the ICRC said that it "helped ensure that the release operation ran smoothly. ICRC delegates interviewed each detainee in private prior to his or her release to verify that they accepted their release. The ICRC also facilitated the transportation of the detainees into the West Bank and from the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip."
Shalit was seen in the interview breathing heavily and having trouble focusing.