Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, greets Gilad Shalit at Tel Nof air base in central Israel in this handout picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office.

The Jewish community in South Africa is “overjoyed” at the news of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit on Tuesday, the SA Zionist Federation and the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) said.

“After five years of incarceration by Hamas in Gaza... he has finally been reunited with his parents, his siblings,” SA Zionist Federation chairman Avrom Krengel and SAJBD chairwoman Mary Kluk said in a statement.

“We pray that his integration back into his family and his society will be easy and smooth, and we extend our sincere thanks to the members of the Israeli government who worked tirelessly to secure his release.”

Schalit was released on Tuesday in a prisoner swap between Israel and Palestine. - Sapa