Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Shalit returned to his homeland Tuesday after 5 years 4 months incommunicado in Palestinian hands, the 23-year-old is back with his family.
Trading more than 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, the Palestinians sent Shalit home yesterday where he was met by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his father.
Meanwhile, in Ramallah, Palestine, home of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, throngs of supporters greeted their family member as heroes, some of whom had been held for over 20 years.
Sentiments expressed by Sgt. Shalit, and crowds on both sides of the Gaza, left no doubt on the Egyptian-brokered exchange that wider peace negotiations should be opened.
However, Israeli families express anger at the release of the Palestinians, many of who had been convicted of capital crimes in Israel.