Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday evening that Israel did not plan to escalate the situation on the northern border.
"There's no intention to cause an escalation or to widen the confrontation. We have an intention to do everything to bring calm. We were forced to tell residents to go down to the bomb shelters because there were estimates that escalation could have taken place. We are happy to say this evening to all residents to go back to normal. I hope this continues," Peretz said.
The Defense Minister spoke at a cultural center in Beer Sheva, where he arrived to watch a play.
Making the best of it: Northerners in bomb shelter: (Photo: Hagai Aharon)
He said that he arrived after difficult deliberations over the security situation in the north. Peretz complimented the security forces and said that "in the morning hours, after a number of rockets were fired at Israel, sources at the northern command began acting according to prearranged plans. Our forces carried out their missions in the best possible way and used all of the necessary tools according to plan."
Peretz also said that he held the Lebanese government responsible for the events that took place in the last 24 hours.
"The Lebanese government is the source that must... be responsible for the calm. The Lebanese government is the sovereign body that is supposed to enforce its sovereignty there. We have no intention of excusing the government of Lebanon from what is happening in the north," he said.
Peretz said there were no contacts being held with Hizbullah and emphasized that he was satisfied with the IDF's response to the recent incidents.