Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Friday he hoped the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) would be deployed soon along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
"In Lebanon, things are going slowly and it's necessary to wait. First there will be UNIFIL, then the Lebanese security forces," Barak told Israeli radio as he visited northern Israel, including the Misgav Am kibbutz along the border. UNIFIL began to deploy Friday in two sectors of the former Israeli-occupied zone of south Lebanon, despite Beirut's continued allegations that Israel is making incursions onto Lebanese territory.
"I hope the noticeable calm at the border continues. I remember the fire that ravaged this region, where our soldiers perished," Barak said.
"The tragedy lasted 18 years and we must draw lessons from it: When things must be settled one must not hesitate, even if it appears dangerous," Barak said.
Barak drew a parallel to the controversial compromise over Jerusalem that he proposed to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat last week at Camp David.
"We must not hesitate to end our domination over the Palestinians, which has gone on for 33 years," Barak said.
But Barak stressed that at the Camp David summit Israel "did not sign any binding text." – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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