JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Gilad Shalit at his home in northern Israel, the first Israeli official to visit since the soldier’s return.
Peres traveled to Mitzpe Hila on Monday.
"I came on behalf of the whole nation to tell you how happy we are to have you home," the president told Shalit, according to Haaretz.
Shalit told Peres that he was happy to be home and thanked the president for his support throughout his more than five years of captivity.
Police announced Sunday that they would remove barriers preventing traffic on the Shalits’ street as well as barriers from in front of their house. But the community will retain a private security company to protect the privacy of the Shalit family, local authorities told Haaretz.
Supporters and tourists continue to flock to Mitzpe Hila to stand outside the Shalit home, many leaving flowers and packages containing candy and other gifts.