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Israel’s armed forces are ready for a new war, should one erupt, Ehud Olmert said.

Addressing cadets at the military officers’ academy Wednesday, the Israeli prime minister noted that many of them enlisted after the inconclusive 2006 war in Lebanon against Hezbollah.

“Today I know that should we be called upon, God forbid, to engage in a new conflict there or in another theater, you will be the tangible and most noble manifestation of the spirit of the armed forces, the State of Israel’s defensive war,” Olmert said.

As Israel approaches its 60th independence day, he said, “it possesses military strength and well-known deterrent capabilities.”

While that remark appeared aimed at foes like Syria and Iran, the prime minister also spoke of his efforts to achieve peace.

“Certain of ourselves and our strength, we now march in the path of peace and security,” he said.

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