Barak: If Hezbollah attacks, we�ll strike Lebanese gov�t

YNet News (Link) (July 26, 2010)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview to the Washington Post on Monday that if Hezbollah resumes firing rockets at Israel, the Israel Defense Forces will respond with a direct attack on Lebanese government institutions.

In an interview to the American paper ahead of his landing in the United States for an official visit, the defense minister warned that Israel would strike directly at the Lebanese government, since it is allowing Hezbollah to rearm.

He said that if Hezbollah fires rockets at Tel Aviv, �we will not run after each Hezbollah terrorist or launcher. . . . We will see it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to Hezbollah.�

Barack also commented on the Iranian nuclear program, and said that Jerusalem and Washington, share the same �diagnosis� that Iran is �determined to reach nuclear military capability.� But he acknowledged �there are differences about what could be done about it, how it should be done, and what (is) the timeframe within which certain steps could be taken.�

�It�s still time for sanctions,� Barak said in the interview Friday in his office at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, but �probably, at a certain point, we should realize that sanctions cannot work.�

On the Palestinian front, Barak said Israel must present a peace plan that delineates the borders of the future Palestinian state, ensures a Jewish majority in Israel, solves the refugee problem, and offers a �reasonable solution� for the future of Jerusalem.

When asked whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares his belief in the need for an Israeli peace plan initiative that addresses the core issues, the defense minister said Netanyahu convinced US President Barack Obama at the July 6 meeting that �he is there. But, of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We have to prove it in actions, in the negotiations.�