Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is in Israel for talks on how to end the conflict with Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. The secretary's visit comes amid continued cross-border attacks and ground fighting along the border.
Secretary Rice arrived in Israel after a brief, unannounced visit to Beirut. "President Bush wanted this to be my first stop here in Lebanon to express our desire to urgently find the conditions in which we can end the violence," she said.
Washington remains adamant any cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants must be sustainable. But Rice also said she had come to discuss the humanitarian crisis.
As she traveled to the region, Israeli warplanes continued to launch raids into southern Lebanon, troops battled Hezbollah fighters in the far south and Hezbollah sent rockets into northern Israel.
Rice meets here Tuesday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and then also holds talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass before traveling on to Rome for a Lebanon conference on Wednesday.