Gilad Shalit's Parents Ask Media to Back Off

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Aviva and Noam Shalit, parents of released Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, appealed to the Israeli media not to make their son a "prisoner in his own home."

"Since Gilad has returned home, now we would like to sincerely request that he be allowed to return to a normal and sane life in his home, recuperate from his wounds and undergo rehabilitation in his natural environment, Mitzpe Hila, and not become a prisoner in his own home," his parents said in a statement.

"This will be possible only if the reporters and photographers who wait for Gilad outside our home leave the village and give Gilad his privacy without hounding him everywhere he goes," they added.

Just before his release, Oren Helman, director of the Government Press Office in Jerusalem, made a similar appeal to the foreign press in Israel, asking reporters, cameramen and photographers to refrain from any activities that would put additional strain on the family.

The IDF Spokesman's Office asked directors of major media outlets to sign a statement agreeing to respect Shalit's privacy and allow him time to recover after being held incommunicado for nearly five-and-a-half years by Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip.

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