On Tuesday, long-held Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were officially swapped. He was only 19 when he was captured, and is 25 currently. "His release by the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a prisoner swap that ultimately will include the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. A total of 477 prisoners were freed Tuesday, after Shalit was returned to Israel," The Washington Post reported. Shalit briefly was interviewed by an Egyptian television station, his remarks were relayed by The New York Times:
Asked if he had feared that he would never get out, Sergeant Shalit answered that he worried it would take many more years although in the past month he suspected a deal was in the works. He said he was told of his release a week ago. Asked what he missed most in prison, he replied, "My family and my friends and seeing and talking with people. The worst was having to do the same thing every day over and over."
Above, in the handout picture via Reuters, Shalit is seen saluting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his reception.
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The Associated Press/Huffington Post highlights this clip showing Shalit's reception:
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