Gilad Shalit delivered letters of thanks on Wednesday in Tel Aviv to ambassadors from France and Germany to be passed along to the countries’ leaders.
Shalit, who was kidnapped and held in Hamas captivity for five years, expressed his gratitude to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for helping secure his release.
"I want to thank you with all my heart for the unlimited support you have given me and your efforts to bring about my release," Shalit, who is a dual French-Israeli citizen, wrote in his letter to Sarkozy and the French people.
Shalit also met with German Ambassador to Israel Andreas Michaelis to thank him for Germany’s role in freeing him. Gerhard Conrad of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service helped negotiate the terms of the deal to swap the Israeli soldier for Palestinian prisoners.
"We are happy Gilad is free, and also happy he came to us today," Michaelis said.
Shalit’s father, Noam, recently declared he will run for the Labor Party list in the upcoming election.