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Search for Mideast Ceasefire Continues

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for an Israeli-Hezbollah ceasefire "as soon as possible," but stopped short of urging an immediate halt to the conflict.

Speaking Sunday in Israel, Rice said she was deeply saddened by the civilian deaths from Israel's airstrike in the Lebanese town of Qada. She said she spoke with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to confirm she would postpone an expected visit to Beirut.

Earlier, Mr. Saniora demanded an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and an international investigation into what he called "Israeli massacres." He said Lebanon will not consider any negotiations until a ceasefire is in place.

Secretary Rice met with top Israeli officials today after holding talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert late Saturday.

Mr. Olmert said today Israel is in no hurry for a ceasefire until its main objectives of the offensive are reached.

He said one objective is preparing a multinational force to protect Israel from Hezbollah attacks.

France, Britain and Jordan condemned Israel's bombardment of the Lebanese village.

France has drawn up a draft U.N. resolution that calls for an immediate truce, and prepares for a peace mission monitored by international forces.

The U.N. Security Council is to hold talks Monday on a possible multinational force for southern Lebanon.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.