(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The State of Israel congratulates BBC journalist Alan Johnston on his release by his kidnappers and shares in the joy of his family and that of the entire British people.

Israel demands that soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted to the Gaza Strip over one year ago, also be released by his kidnappers, who belong to Hamas. As is known, the Hamas members holding him are in effect preventing the release of Palestinian prisoners as has been agreed upon.