Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke for the first time publicly on the escalated fighting in Lebanon and in northern Israel since Wednesday’s attacks, at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
“This is a very difficult morning for all of us. The severe blows on Haifa follow the murderous attacks on population centers throughout the country,” he said. “These are designed to hurt civilians because this is Hizballah’s criminal war against Israel and its residents.”
Olmert said that the fighting in the north would have "far-reaching implications" on how Israel deals with the northern border and the entire region in the future.
"Israel cannot accept this situation," Olmert said. "We have no interest in harming the Lebanese or Palestinian people. We want to live our lives quietly and as good neighbors. But unfortunately, there are those who interpreted our desire for peace in the wrong manner."
The government is preparing to help its northern citizens through socio-economic assistance.
“Nothing will deter us, whatever far reaching ramifications regarding our relations on the northern border and in the region there may be.”