1. Various of Nabih Berri, Lebanon's Speaker of Parliament, during interview
2. Lebanese flag
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Nabih Berri, Speaker of Parliament:
"I think after the retaliation that was carried out by our Syrian brothers, I think Israel has no interest in continuing with this (escalation). Israel also tried with all its wars with the Arabs to use its air force. What happened with this battle was clear, that the retaliation was a warning from the Syrians but it was a very strong warning with rockets that the Israelis were unable to stop. Consequently this time it was Syrian occupied territories that were targeted, the next time it will be in Palestinian territories, in territories occupied by Israel inside Israel. Consequently we know how small the geographic space is for Israel, they don't have an interest in a long term war or battles. If this retaliation didn't happen we would see Israel hitting every now and then sensitive places as its intelligence agencies tell it, and hit again. I think there is nothing that leads to stability or a kind of peace or truce other than this balance of terror, and I think they reached this."
4. Close of hands
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Nabih Berri, Speaker of Parliament:
"The situation around us, as you said, this situation pushes the Lebanese to hurry as much as possible to form a cabinet, a government that represents everyone."
6. Wide of Berri during interview
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Nabih Berri, Speaker of Parliament:
"We can do as we did in the past. In the past it used to take us seven to eight months to form cabinet and this is dangerous especially regarding war because bringing Lebanon into war, it means a comprehensive war in the region but there is another war that we are fighting without noticing, and this is the economic war in Lebanon. And this has been ongoing for a while and therefore I don't want that our economy cannot tolerate long periods, but I want to say don't let it tolerate something that it cannot take."
Speaking to the Associated Press in an interview Friday, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says Israel cannot bear the consequences of a wide-scale regional war.
"The retaliation was a warning from the Syrians but it was a very strong warning with rockets that the Israelis were unable to stop," he says.
"Next time it will be in Palestinian territories, in territories occupied by Israel inside Israel."
This time the retaliation was in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Israel attacked dozens of Iranian targets in neighbouring Syria in the last week in response to what it says was an Iranian rocket barrage.
It was the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date.
Berri, a powerful longtime politician allied with Hezbollah, says the Syrian response has achieved a "balance of terror" with Israel.
Following parliamentary elections a week ago, Berri also maintains that the formation of a new cabinet in Lebanon should represent all factions and should take place quickly because of growing regional tensions and the fragile country's struggling economy.
Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in nine years last Sunday. In the vote, Berri's Shiite Muslim Amal group, along with its allies including the powerful Hezbollah, won more than a third of the seats, giving them the power to veto any legislation against them in the future.
Berri, 80, has held his post for more than 25 years and is widely expected to be re-elected when the new parliament reconvenes later this month.
Lebanon has been suffering for years from spill over of Syria's seven-year civil war and the flow of more than a million refugees, or nearly a quarter of the tiny country's population, putting pressure on an already crumbling infrastructure.
"This situation pushes the Lebanese to hurry as much as possible to form a cabinet, a government that represents everyone," Berri says.
He adds that the formation of a cabinet should be quicker than in previous years.
"In the past it used to take us seven to eight months to form cabinet and this is dangerous," says Berri.
"There is another war that we are fighting without noticing, and this is the economic war in Lebanon. And this has been ongoing for a while," he adds.
Lebanon has a national debt of 80 billion US dollars making it one of the highest in the world, standing at 150 percent of the country's gross domestic product.