Gilad Shalit made his first public address on Saturday, thanking activists who had worked toward his release from Hamas captivity.
In a recorded message to the people who rallied for his release for 1,941 days, Shalit said their continued struggle was one of the decisive factors leading to his return.
"I have no doubt that your continued steadfast struggle and support of my family was one of the decisive factors that helped bring about the decision to bring me home," Shalit said in the message, addressing some 300 activists who gathered for a reunion in Kibbutz Shefayim in central Israel.
"I am grateful to all of you – each and every one – and I will continue to be thankful for the rest of my life," he said.
Shalit was released on October 18 after five years in Hamas captivity in a prisoner exchange deal which saw the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
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