Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) greets Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at Tel Nof air base in central Israel in this handout picture released October 18
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) greets Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at Tel Nof air base in central Israel in this handout picture released October 18.

Freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit gave his first interview Tuesday after being released from more than five years in captivity in Gaza.

Shalit said he had been treated well by his Hamas captors, telling Egypt's Nile TV that he was relieved to be surrounded by people again.

"I'm very emotional. I haven't seen people in a long time. I missed my family. I missed seeing people, and talking to them," he said.

"Of course I miss my family very much. I also miss my friends," he said. "I hope this deal will lead to peace between Palestinians and Israelis and that it will support cooperation between both sides."

Gilad Shalit Released In Return For Palestinian Militants [PICTURES]

Shalit also said he would be glad to see the remaining Palestinians held in Israeli prisons freed to their families, "as long as they do not return to attacking Israel."

While Shalit said he "always knew I would go home," he did fear that he would remain in captivity for "many more years" that "things might go wrong."

Shalit appeared pale and thin in his first appearance since he was released but Israeli officials said he is in good health.

In the afternoon, Shalit was greeted with ecstatic welcome by hundreds of his friends, relatives and supporters as he arrived at his home in the northern town of Mitzpe Hila on Tuesday afternoon, hours after he was reunited with his parents and brother for the first time since he was abducted and taken to Gaza in June 2006.

Shalit was released from Hamas captivity on Tuesday morning and brought to the Israel Air Force base in Tel Nof, central Israel shortly afterward. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted Shalit as he arrived at the air base

"Hello, Gilad. Welcome back to Israel," said Netanyahu. "It's so good to have you home." Shalit, who changed into an IDF uniform before a helicopter ride from the Gaza border, saluted the prime minister and then embraced him.

Shalit was officially passed into Israeli custody on Tuesday morning in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.