Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was snatched in a cross-border raid in 2006, has been watching the FIFA World Cup matches while in captivity in the Gaza Strip, a pro-Hamas news website reported Tuesday.
Shalit has been following the daily matches on the pro-Hamas, al- Aqsa satellite channel, al-Resallah news reported.
Hamas and two other minor militant groups kidnapped Shalit in a raid between the southeastern Gaza Strip and Israel in June 2006, dpa reported.
The report said watching the football matches helps Shalit forget his despair "after the Israeli government decided to suspend indirect talks to finalize the swap deal with Hamas."
Egypt, and later Germany, had tried to finalize a prisoners' exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. However, the efforts collapsed after Hamas insisted that Israel should free 1,000 prisoners.
The report said Shalit, who holds French nationality, "was very sad when France was defeated by Mexico during the World Cup matches held in South Africa."