"As we approach Independence Day, we are faced with political, social and security problems, but we will continue to march on without hysteria, with careful consideration, and with the confidence to make Israel stronger," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at a Knesset Independence Day ceremony on Monday night. Unsurprisingly, the prime minister avoided mentioning the latest investigation against him. "We will continue to bear the burden of improving the security and welfare of Israel and we will continue our efforts to reach a peace deal with every Arab country," he said. During the ceremony, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "even in our sixtieth year we are yet to reach a state of tranquility. We are striving toward peace and while we are still struggling, we are aware that many tests lie ahead and we will still, god forbid, require the sacrifice of our fighters."