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Peres visits Shalit at home

JTA

October 24, 2011 | 9:13 am

Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, sits next to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during a visit at Shalit's home in the northern village of Mitzpe Hila in this picture released by the president's office on Oct, 24. Photo by REUTERS/Ziv Binunsky/Handout

Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, sits next to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during a visit at Shalit's home in the northern village of Mitzpe Hila in this picture released by the president's office on Oct, 24. Photo by REUTERS/Ziv Binunsky/Handout

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,” Peres told Shalit, according to Haaretz.

Shalit told Peres he was happy to be home and thanked the president for his support throughout his more than five years of captivity. 

Police announced Sunday they would remove barriers preventing traffic on the Shalit’s street as well as barriers from in front of the house. But local authorities told Haaretz the community is retaining a private security company to protect the Shalit’s privacy.

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.

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