Israel Cheers Shalit’s Return

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was freed today after five years of imprisonment by Hamas, was welcomed by a parade of supporters in his northern Israeli hometown of Mitzpe Hila. The 25-year-old sergeant changed into his Israel Defense Forces uniform and underwent a brief medical exam before being greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and reunited with his family. The prime minister told him, “It’s so good to have you home.” In exchange for Shalit’s return, Israel agreed to free more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom had been convicted of carrying out or being involved in terror attacks.