France's Sarkozy Meets With Gilad Shalit in Paris

Family of former IDF soldier, who was held in Hamas captivity for five years, thanks Sarkozy for his 'commitment' to obtaining Shalit's release.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday met with former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage for five years by Hamas militants.

Shalit has maintained a low profile since his release from captivity in Gaza in October in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

Sarkozy and Shalit - AFP - Feb. 8, 2012
Gilad Shalit escorted by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy after a meeting at the presidential palace, February 8, 2012. AFP

But he and his parents made an unusual public appearance Wednesday, meeting with Sarkozy in his presidential palace in Paris.

His father, Noam Shalit, said afterward the family was "very moved" by the meeting and thanked Sarkozy for his "commitment" to obtaining Shalit's release. Shalit himself did not speak to reporters.

Hamas-allied militants captured Shalit in a 2006 cross-border raid, and his plight captured Israel's attention for years.