'Israel won't initiate attack in North'

Barak: "If forced into conflict... we would hold all of Lebanon responsible."

barak with kid smiling 311 MOD (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry)
barak with kid smiling 311 MOD
(photo credit: Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry)
“We are not looking for confrontations. Israel will not initiate attacks in the northern arena but we are strong and deterring,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday during a talk with high school students in northern Israel.
According to Barak, “If we are forced into a confrontation, we will not seek to run after every Hizbullah operative in some village or after a rocket launcher hidden under a tree, but rather we would hold the government of Lebanon and all of Lebanon responsible for any Hizbullah attack, and we strongly advise them not to try and take action against us.”
With regards to Iran, Barak said, “We must mainly trust ourselves.Israel is the strongest country in a 1,500 kilometer radius. However,our enemies are not sleeping and we have to be well-prepared.”
Asked whether Israel had made mistakes in the negotiations tosecure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Barakreplied, “I would rather see him first at home with his parents. Onlythen we would conduct all the necessary inquires and thoroughly checkourselves and draw conclusions, and there are no doubt conclusions tobe drawn both from Gilad’s incident and also the possibility that theother side would adopt this method, knowing how Israel cares for itscitizens and soldiers.”