That’s the assessment of the head of Israel’s northern army command. Meanwhile, an Israeli strike killed at least 16 people near Beirut and Hezbollah killed at least one with another rocket volley into northern Israel; the toll has risen to at least 227 killed in Lebanon and 25 in Israel.

  • However, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gave the first hope that earnest efforts are underway to find a cease-fire solution.

  • AP:

    Israel struck a Lebanese army base outside Beirut and flattened a house near the border, killing at least 16 people in a new wave of bombings, while Hezbollah fired more rockets at northern Israel, killing one Israeli and wounding several others. Meanwhile, Israeli military officials said the offensive could last several more weeks.

    The offensive also could include Israeli ground forces. The developments cast doubt on whether diplomatic efforts could produce a cease-fire anytime soon in the week-old crisis.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a visiting U.N. delegation that “Israel will continue to combat Hezbollah and will continue to strike targets of the group” until captured soldiers are released and Israeli citizens are safe from attacks.

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