That’s apparently the consensus emerging from the two countries; Israel would be given a week to further weaken Hezbollah, at which point Condoleezza Rice would travel to the region and try to establish a buffer zone.

Strange, to be hearing about such plans in advance.

  • Meanwhile, the first Israeli ground troops have entered Lebanon.

  • N.Y. Times:

    WASHINGTON, July 18 ? The outlines of an American-Israeli consensus began to emerge on Tuesday in which Israel would continue to bombard Lebanon for about another week to degrade the capabilities of the Hezbollah militia, officials of the two countries said.

    Then, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would go to the region and seek to establish a buffer zone in southern Lebanon and perhaps an international force to monitor Lebanon?s borders to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining more rockets with which to bombard Israel.

    American officials signaled that Ms. Rice was waiting at least a few more days before wading into the conflict, in part to give Israel more time to weaken Hezbollah forces.

    The strategy carries risk, partly because it remains unclear just how long the rest of the world, particularly America?s Arab allies, will continue to stay silent as the toll on Lebanese civilians rises.


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