Israel's army thrust deeper into Lebanon on Saturday and its commander said he would keep fighting Hezbollah guerrillas, despite a United Nations Security Council demand for a ''full cessation of hostilities'' in the month-old war. Air strikes killed up to 20 people in Lebanon, hours after the council adopted a resolution aimed at ending the conflict.
Israeli air strikes killed 14 villagers in south Lebanon on Tuesday as Beirut pleaded for a swift end to Israel's war with Hezbollah guerrillas that has cost up to 1Â 000 Lebanese and 100 Israeli lives in four weeks. Diplomats at the United Nations in New York said a vote on a resolution to end the war might not take place before Thursday as fighting in south Lebanon raged on.
Waves of Israeli air strikes destroyed three highway bridges north of Beirut on Friday, forcing United Nations relief agencies to cancel several convoys of aid for the 900Â 000 people displaced by the conflict. The Israeli air force's bombing of bridges in the Christian heartlands north of the capital cut off the main coastal highway to Syria.
The Israeli army on Friday prepared for a possible push deeper into southern Lebanon to drive out Hezbollah which threatened to launch rockets further into Israel if it hits central Beirut. While world powers worked on a United Nations resolution to end the 24-day-long conflict, Israeli jets targeted Hezbollah offices and the house of a senior guerrilla leader in southern Beirut.
Hezbollah pledged on Saturday to deny the United States and Israel any political gains from the war in Lebanon as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Jerusalem to discuss ways to end the 18-day-old conflict. Israel rejected as unnecessary a United Nations plea for a truce to aid civilians trapped by fighting.
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed to Jerusalem on Saturday to discuss ways to end the 18-day-old war in Lebanon as Israel rejected a United Nations plea for a truce to aid civilians trapped by fighting. ''There is no need for a 72-hour temporary ceasefire because Israel has opened a humanitarian corridor to and from Lebanon,'' said Israeli government spokesperson Avi Pazner.
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed for Israel on Saturday to discuss terms for a United Nations Security Council resolution to end its 18-day-old war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Rice, who visited Jerusalem and Beirut earlier in the week, was expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the evening and hold more talks in Israel on Sunday.
Israel unleashed more air strikes on Lebanon and Hezbollah fired rockets at Haifa on Sunday as a senior United Nations official demanded a halt to the violence to allow aid to reach desperate civilians. United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, leaving for the Middle East later in the day, has said she will pursue a lasting solution, not an immediate ceasefire.
Israel will pursue its war on Hezbollah with more military incursions into south Lebanon but will not unleash a full-scale invasion for the moment, an Israeli army spokesperson said on Saturday. Thousands of Lebanese civilians have fled north fearing Israel will invade and expand an 11-day-old bombardment of Lebanon which has killed 345 people, mostly civilians.