Abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip since 2006, will return to Israel within days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, minutes after a deal that would secure Shalit's release was announced.
"In the coming days we will return Gilad to the bosom of his parents, Aviva and Noam, to his brother Yoel, his sister Hadas, his grandfather Tzvi and the entire people of Israel."
"Two and a half years ago, with the forming of [my] government, I took it upon myself as my most significant task to return Gilad to his people and his family and return him alive and well."
"Gilad has spend five years in the most horrible of captivities, without us knowing what was his condition. I do not know if the near future would have allowed us to achieve a better deal, or a deal at all, since it is very likely that this window of opportunity created in these circumstances would have finally closed, and we wouldn't have freed Gilad at all."
"It was a long and tedious negotiations process,Israel tried to bring Gilad back home in any way possible, but it didn't work. In the last weeks negotiations in Cairo were renewed, mediated by the Egyptian government."
"My instructions were to maintain the frameworks essential to Israel's security,there was an inherent tension between the desire to return an abducted soldier and the maintaining of Israel's security."