Last update - 18:36 31/03/2009 Netanyahu: Israel seeks lasting peace with Arabs By Haaretz Service Tags: likud, ehud olmert Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Tuesday that under his leadership, Israel would continue to work toward a comprehensive peace with the Arab and Muslim world. "We will not let anyone question our right to exist," he told lawmakers gathered at the Knesset in Jerusalem for the swearing-in of the new coalition. "Israel can`t afford to treat statements against it light-heartedly." In his address, Netanyahu called radical Islam and the Iranian regime major threats to regional security, but praised Islam itself as a rich religion. As he prepared to take on his new role, Netanyahu also warned the Palestinian Authority that it must do its part to fight terror if it is serious about peace. He also said that he would do whatever it takes to free abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in Palestinian captivity since he was abducted in a 2006 cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu thanked outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his "devoted service" to the state, and promised to engage in peace talks with "sincerity and a clear mind." Following his address, Netanyahu began to name the 30 new ministers and deputy ministers appointed to serve in the new government coalition. Olmert delivered his final speech as premier just before Netanyahu's address, urging the new coalition to follow in his government's path and make the peace process a central focus of the coming term. "Our avid peace efforts were acknowledged by the international community," he said. In particular, the outgoing prime minister called on Netanyahu to continue on the Syria track, a process which Olmert jumpstarted during his term. "As I step down from the premiership, I am not the least bit resentful," Olmert said, adding that he was proud of his own government's achievements. Olmert's tenure as prime minister was heavily criticized throughout, with two wars and a dozen investigations into his alleged corruption. During his address, the outgoing prime minister defended his government's decision to carry out the 2006 war in Lebanon and the recent operation in the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces is "most moral army in the world," Olmert declared, adding that this was evident by Israel's actions during its offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year. He also defended the government's decision to carry out the 2006 Second Lebanon War against Hezbollah militants, despite widespread criticism of the state's handling of that war. "The outcomes of Second Lebanon War, in long run, are positive," Olmert said, adding that the war "changed strategic balance along the border in our favor." Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who lost out on the opportunity to form the new government despite her Kadima party's slim win in the February elections, took the podium to deliver the third address at the government swearing in. She began her speech by wishing the new government success, but quickly added that could not wish success to a coalition deal that would "not benefit the state at all."