JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit launched a hunger strike that put his life in danger shortly before his release.
The hunger strike is what led in part to Hamas agreeing to an exchange, as the terrorist group feared Shalit would die and it would lose its main bargaining chip, Yediot Achronot reported Sunday. The daily Israeli newspaper cited an intelligence report on Shalit.
According to the report, shrapnel fired during the kidnapping entered Shalit’s body, barely missing vital organs, and the wounds eventually healed.
The report also said that Iran and Hamas gave misleading information to Israeli intelligence on Shalit’s whereabouts, hoping that an Israeli rescue force would enter a booby-trapped house in northern Gaza.
Shalit reportedly was guarded by the same four Hamas members throughout his captivity.
UPDATE 12/5: Gilad Shalit’s father has denied the report that his son went on a hunger strike.