PMO praises Johnston; calls for Schalit's release

Israel congratulated BBC reporter Alan Johnston on his release on Wednesday morning but emphasized that Hamas was still responsible for holding IDF Corporal Gilad Schalit captive for over a year and called for his release. "The State of Israel congratulates BBC journalist Alan Johnston on his release… and shares the joy of his family and that of the entire British people," said the Prime Minister's Office in a statement released late Wednesday morning. "Israel demands that soldier Gilad Schalit, who was abducted to the Gaza Strip over one year ago, also be released by his kidnappers, who belong to Hamas. As is known, the Hamas members holding him are - in effect - preventing the release of Palestinian prisoners as has been agreed upon," the statement read.