Israeli PM warns freed Palestinian militants

Benjamin Netanyahu warned the freed Palestinian militants that they will be punished if they return to violence.

Tel Nof air base: Israel`s Prime Minister has warned the Palestinian militants freed in a prisoner swap that they will be punished if they return to violence.

Netanyahu issued the warning after greeting the lone Israeli soldier freed in the swap, in which Israel is releasing more than 1,000 prisoners. Some 300 of them had been serving life sentences for deadly attacks on Israelis.

Netanyahu said he understood the pain of Israeli families who have lost relatives in Palestinian violence.

He said, "We will continue to fight terror and every released terrorist who returns to terror will be held accountable."

Freed Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit landed at Tel Nof air base on board a military helicopter for an eagerly awaited reunion with his family.

Schalit, his parents, Noam and Aviva, led an emotional campaign to win their son`s release for the past five years. They have led nationwide marches and set up a protest tent outside the official residence of the prime minister.

Earlier Tuesday, Hamas militants in Gaza freed Schalit in a swap for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Ahead of the reunion, Schalit switched out of civilian clothes given to him by Hamas and into an Israeli military uniform.

Bureau Report

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