Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz watched the first television coverage of Gilad Schalit following his release from Hamas captivity at the Tel Nof Air Force Base in central Israel, while the Schalit family watched the broadcast in a separate room.
While Israel did not formally respond to the interview of Schalit shown on Egyptian state television following his release, a number of officials expressed shock at the way in which the soldier was exploited. On the other hand, the officials were impressed with the way he responded to the reporter's questions, which demonstrated that he was of sound mind and had not lost his faith.
One government official said that Schalit's answers were admirable, noting specifically his answer that Palestinian prisoners should be set free as long as they do not return to terror.
Israel was informed by Egyptian state television that the interview was going to take place.
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