'we have to hit back, and hit hard'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am

'It is an act of war by the state of Lebanon against the state of Israel in its sovereign territory. We are already responding with great strength ... The Lebanese government is responsible. Lebanon will pay

the price'

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

'This is not the time for politics. We give our support to the PM. And we have to hit back, and hit hard'

Right-wing Israeli opposition leader

Benjamin Netanyahu

'Military escalation will do Israel no good. Military escalation will not resolve the crisis here or in Lebanon'

Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad

'Hezbollah's action escalates the already tense situation along the Blue Line [Lebanon-Israel border] and is an act of very dangerous proportions.

I call on Hezbollah to release the soldiers and urge all

parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any further escalation'

UN envoy to Lebanon Geir Pedersen