As 8,000 Israeli troops pour over the Lebanese border and Hezbollah militants launch a record 230 rockets into Israel, the studiously neutral Associated Press concludes that there is no hope for a short-term cessation to the hostilities.
Hezbollah fired its biggest and deepest volley of rockets into Israel on Wednesday as Israel pursued the guerrillas with 8,000 soldiers on the ground and heavy bombing. With fighting in its fourth week and diplomatic efforts stalled, the region braced for a bitter and long war.
In eastern Lebanon, villagers wept as heavy machinery carried off the bodies of those killed in an overnight raid against a Hezbollah stronghold. Across northern Israel, forests and fields lay scorched from rocket fire that killed a Massachusetts native fleeing on his bicycle after a warning siren went off.
Hopes for a cease-fire dimmed despite a plea from Pope Benedict XVI for a quick solution. U.N. diplomats debated a draft resolution that would lay down the conditions for an international force to go in; they claimed they were making progress but acknowledged no immediate deal was in sight.