Olmert: We won't negotiate with axis of evil
Prime Minister Olmert tours in village of Mghar, northern Israel, addresses calls to negotiate with Syria: 'Israel won't negotiate with those who give refuge to terror and who are part of the axis of evil'
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday during a tour of the northern village of Mghar that "Israel won't negotiate with those who give refuge to terror and who are part of the axis of evil."
He added: "There are those who say that Bashar Assad should be embraced. I say clearly, let's not forget the thousands of missiles that fell here in the last month. They all passed through Damascus and some of them were even made in Damascus. Some of the missiles even landed here in Mghar."
Olmert was responding to a call by Interior Security Minister Avi Dichter made on Army Radio, in which he said that "for true peace with Syria, Israel can leave the Golan Heights."
During the fighting in Mghar, a youth and a teenage girl were killed. On August 4, Manal Azzam (27) and two residents were seriously injured from a direct rocket hit on two homes. A week and a half earlier, Da'a Abbas (15) was killed when a rocket struck her home.
Earlier, Olmert visited Kiryat Shmona. The prime minister's visit did not result in great joy by local residents, who are licking their war wounds and attempting to deal with crashed businesses and wrecked homes. The prime minister was told by council members that locals felt abandoned by the government.
Promises for inquiry
A commission of inquiry will be set up so that Israel can draw lessons from the Lebanon war, Olmert said Monday as he faced furious residents and municipal politicians at the northern town of Kiryat Shmona.
"We'll draw lessons in order to strengthen Israel and move it forward," the PM said as he toured the still-recovering border town, which has sustained more than 1,000 rocket hits during the war.
In his meeting with local authority heads, Olmert said: "I have decided that we concentrate all our energies and resources on one thing: Not on mutual blows, not on arguing over what happened, but rather, on how to prepare for what's to come."