Israeli girls write messages on a shell at a heavy artillery position near Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel, next to the Lebanese border, Monday, July 17. Diplomatic efforts to end Israeli-Hezbollah fighting gained traction Monday, with Israeli officials saying the country would agree to halt fighting if its two captured soldiers were returned and Islamic guerrillas withdrew from the border. Publicly, the officials continued to insist their goal was to dismantle Hezbollah, but senior aides to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he told his Italian counterpart, Romano Prodi, that Israel would accept cease-fire terms that called for Hezbollah to release the Israeli soldiers and withdraw from the border.
A nauseating sign of the times:
Preteen Israeli girls at a heavy artillery position in northern Israel are photographed apparently gleefully scrawling their names and other inscriptions on shells destined to be dropped on Lebanon. One reads “Nazrala with love”—a reference to Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasarallah.