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As Conflict Continues, Israel Weighs Military and Diplomatic Options

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continued her diplomatic trip to the Middle East Tuesday, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Experts discuss the military and peace-keeping options facing Israel and the national debate over the current conflict.

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    It was the heaviest bombardment of Beirut in two weeks of fighting. Five missiles shook the southern suburbs, targeting a Hezbollah stronghold.

    This was the scene in southern Beirut, where this man's engineering business was hit. He said Israeli bombs don't discriminate between Hezbollah and other Lebanese.

  • MOHAMMED EL KOMANI, Lebanese Citizen:

    They want to kill all of the people here. I don't know why. There is no Hezbollah here.


    Next door was a preschool; it, too, was destroyed. A missile strike near the Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh killed seven people in this house. Further south, Lebanon counted 100 more strikes.

    In the ancient town of Tyre, Israeli warplanes dumped 1,000-pound bombs. Surrounding villages were shelled by heavy guns. Fierce fighting continues around the town of Bint Jbeil, where up to 200 Hezbollah gunmen are reportedly holding out against Israeli ground troops.

    Meanwhile, aid organizations delivered food and medical supplies to displaced Lebanese, including these at a refugee camp near Tyre.

    On the other side of the border, Hezbollah launched some 70 rockets into Israel. The port city of Haifa was hit again, and at least five people were injured there.

    And in Maghar, a 15-year-old Arab girl was killed when one rocket tore through her family's home. Three others were injured in that town.

    Israeli tanks pushed into southern Lebanon, near the border town of Maroun al-Ras later in the day. In Jerusalem, the talk in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, was direct and to the point.

  • SHIMON PERES, Vice Premier, Israel (through translator):

    It is either us or Hezbollah. You do not have a choice, either. It is either you or Hezbollah. As far as we are concerned, this is a war for life or death.


    Diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict continued, with Secretary of State Rice meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders today and her European and Arab counterparts tomorrow.