"Upon reaching 60 years of independence, there are still has those who have not yet accepted [Israel's] existence here as a solid fact. We must not rest on our laurels," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak Sunday, during a ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem commemorating Allied forces' triumph over Nazi Germany. "In this day and age, really, we have one eye following the goings on in the Gaza Strip, and another following the situation in Lebanon and Syria, and of course we have both eyes following Iran," he said. "We are trying to achieve peace, but we, the IDF and security forces, are ready for every challenge and every test that is likely to be forced upon us," he continued. Speaking at the Yizhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, Barak reiterated: "We stand before big challenges; the biggest which is [our] security. We live in a difficult region, which cannot be compared to North America or to Europe." "We are interested in peace, but we understand that it will not happen if we don't fight terror," he said.