Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the release of Israeli Army Sergeant-Major Gilad Shalit.

“I’m relieved that Gilad Shalit is home safely, and I share the delight of his family, friends, and community. For years Americans have stood with our Israeli friends in their quest for Gilad’s safe release, and today our calls have been answered. It is with tremendous elation that we see Gilad reunited today with his family and homeland.

“The Israeli government had to make serious sacrifices to bring this national nightmare to an end, and I have nothing but contempt for the crimes committed by the released Palestinian prisoners. In releasing a disproportionate number of terrorists to secure the return of Gilad, the Israelis have demonstrated to the world the value they put on human life. Let’s pray that the Hamas terrorist organization uses this opportunity to end its reign of violence against the State of Israel.”