The transfer of prisoners: Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit is returned home in exchange for some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners

After being held captive by the Palestinian group Hamas for five years, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit returned to his home in Mitzpe Hila, northern Israel. As his family and friends were celebrating his freedom, 477 of an eventual 1,027 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons were released to mass celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, part of the deal with Hamas. Schalit, a tank crewman who is now 25, was captured in June of 2006 near the Gaza border. -- Lloyd Young (19 photos total)Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz embraced released Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Defense Minister Ehud Barak also greeted him at Tel Nof Airbase on Oct. 18. Looking thin, weary, and dazed, Schalit returned home after more than five years of captivity in the Gaza Strip in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners whose joyful families greeted them with massive celebrations. (Israeli Government Press Office/Associated Press)