Hamas Releases Video of Captive Israeli Soldier

Sept. 14 footage of Shalit obtained in trade for Palestinian prisoners
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 12:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – Imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit appears healthy and talkative in a video released to the Israeli government by his captors in exchange for 20 Palestinian prisoners. In the video, Shalit talks of wanting to return home after his 3-year detention and holds up a copy of a newspaper dated September 14. The terms of the deal—that the tape be at least a minute long, be recent, and show Shalit talking—appear to have been satisfied, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Nineteen of the prisoners demanded in the deal have already been released. “I have been hoping and waiting for the day of my release for a long time,” an apparently calm Shalit says on the tape. “I hope the current government under Binyamin Netanyahu will not waste the chance to finalize a deal.” For his part, a spokesman says, Netanyahu “believes the importance of the tape is in putting the responsibility for Gilad's health and wellbeing squarely on Hamas's shoulders.”