The recent military operation in the Gaza Strip against Hamas has restored Israeli's deterrence among its enemies and in the perception of the whole world, Prime Minsiter Ehud Olmert said on Monday. "We have reestablished in the perception of the whole world the power and deterrence Israel has always enjoyed," Olmert told a gathering of the New York-based World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. "It is not worthwhile starting a war with Israel." The premier said that the 22 day-long attack on Hamas in Gaza was "essential, fundamental, and also successful." "The lesson was taught which hopefully will change realities," Olmert said. "Those who thought Israel was afraid of using power, would hesitate, and not have the courage now know we will not hesitate to use our force to defend our country." Olmert added that in light of the bruising military operation, the international community was determined to stop weapons smuggling to the Gaza Strip, and at the same time he voiced the hope that Palestinians living in the Hamas-controlled territory would reject the Islamic regime and soon live in peace with Israel. "We are not that far away from achieving a full comprehensive peace with the Palestinians," Olmert concluded.