JERUSALEM: Breathing fresh air after being released from Hamas captivity of 1,941 days, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit today expressed hope that there won't be any more wars with Palestine.
"I hope this deal will promote peace. I hope there would be no wars between Israel and the Palestinians", a visibly relieved Shalit told Egyptian Television in an interview after being handed over to Egypt by Hamas.
Asked if he would campaign for the release of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails, Shalit, who has become the first Jewish prisoner to return home alive in 26 years, said he "would be happy to see them released provided they do not go back to take up arms against Israel".
The soldier, who was released as part of a historic swap deal in which Israel would release 1,027 Palestinians, said that that he had been treated well by his Hamas captors during the five years he was held hostage.
"I'm very emotional. I haven't seen people in a long time. I missed my family. I missed seeing people, and talking to them," he said.
Shalit said that he thought he would remain in captivity for many years to come. "I thought I'd find myself in this situation for many years to come," he said.
Israel is waiting with bated breath for Shalit, who was in captivity in the Gaza Strip following his abduction in a cross border raid in June 2005, to come back. The soldier was seen having trouble speaking and gave short responses to the questions.