Freed Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit Hopes for Peace

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In this handout photo provided by the Israeli Defence Force, freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (C) salutes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Nof Airbase on October 18, 2011 in central Israel. Shalit was freed after being held captive for five years in Gaza by Hamas militants, in a deal which saw Israel releasing more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.  (Photo by IDF viaGetty Images)
TEL NOF AIRBASE, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 18: In this handout photo provided by the Israeli Defence Force, freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (C) salutes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Nof Airbase on October 18, 2011 in central Israel. Shalit was freed after being held captive for five years in Gaza by Hamas militants, in a deal which saw Israel releasing more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. (Photo by IDF viaGetty Images) Photo: Handout/2011 IDF

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, now 25 years old, spent the past five years held in captivity by Hamas, and it shows. Finally released today in exchange for 1,077 Palestinians in Israeli prisons (many for carrying out or planning terrorist attacks), Shalit looked pale and gaunt as he stepped off a plane in Tel Nof Airbase and greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a salute. In his first interview as a free man, Shalit said, "I hope this deal will lead to peace between Palestinians and Israelis and that it will support cooperation between both sides."

Gilad Shalit in first interview since release: I haven't seen people in a long time [Haaretz]