Noam Schalit thanks Netanyahu for signing deal

"It took 1,935 difficult days and long nights to bring Gilad home," captured soldier's father says after cabinet approves exchange deal.

October 12, 2011 01:48
1 minute read.
Noam Schalit speaks to the press, Tuesday night

Noam Schalit 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Noam Schalit praised and thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for signing a deal with Hamas to secure the release of his son, kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, overnight Sunday.

"It took 1,935 difficult days and long nights to bring Gilad home," Schalit told reporters.

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He thanked the activists and supporters in Israel and worldwide who stood by the Schalit family's side during the struggle for Gilad's release.

Noam Schalit went on to say that the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners was indeed a large price to pay for his release.

The Schalit deal: 1,027 prisoners to be freed in 2 stages

"We did not set the price," Schalit told reporters. "Two governments and countless officials established the deal. To our chagrin the price is heavy," he added.

The soldier's mother, Aviva Schalit, said overnight Tuesday that she would not celebrate her son's release until he is safe at home.

She told reporters she was experiencing "indescribable happiness," but "until we see Gilad we are waiting and we will not let our emotions burst out."

She added: "We will wait with great worry these seven to 10 days until Gilad comes home."

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