Israel Prisoner Gilad Shalit Freed

    Shadows are projected over a banner with the image of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, at a protest tent set up outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, Saturday, June 25, 2011. Gaza Strip militants vowed Saturday that the Israeli soldier captured five years ago would not "see the light" until Palestinian prisoners held by Israel were released. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Bernat Armangue / AP Photo

    Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was freed from five years’ captivity on Tuesday morning in exchange for the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners. An additional 550 detainees will be released next month. Shalit was taken to the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt before being handed over to Egyptians in front of Israeli representatives. The Israeli Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal on Monday for a 48-hour delay from families of victims attacked by Palestinian militants. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu penned a letter to the families expressing his condolences. As Hamas prepared to welcome 295 prisoners back to Gaza, its interior minister urged residents “to refrain from using weapons and ammunition to express their joy.”

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