The summer season will be calmer than some people think, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday, countering persistent reports in Israeli media predicting a new war.
Olmert, speaking at a graduation ceremony in Jerusalem for the army's command college, said people on both sides of Israel's borders want peace, not war.
"I firmly believe that the coming summer and fall will not be too hot," Olmert said. "There is no place for creating an atmosphere of 'the eve of war."'
Ever since last summer's inconclusive war between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas in Lebanon, which cost Olmert most of his public support, Israeli media, quoting anonymous security officials, have been warning that the probability of another war this summer is high.
"Our neighbors know very well that we prefer to sit with them and talk about peace instead of proving that we are stronger then they are," Olmert said. "In the north and east (Lebanon and Syria), there are millions of people who want peace and quiet, just as we do," he said.