Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he and the other security chiefs serving in the past five years have always felt responsible for bringing Gilad Schalit home, speaking with Army Radio on Wednesday.
Barak said that he met with the Schalit family in their protest tent hours after the cabinet voted to approve a prisoner swap deal with Hamas that will see their son released after five years in captivity.
The meeting, he said, "was very emotional."
The defense minister said that he is "completely at peace with the decision" to make the prisoner swap. "It was the correct decision," he said.
Addressing the solemn determination that the Schalit family has displayed in their half-decade campaign to pressure the government for Gilad's release, Barak said now that the kidnapped soldier is on his way home, he hopes "Aviva begins to smile."