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Israeli Army Waits on Diplomacy for Word on Cease-Fire


Israeli warplanes carried out heavy strikes across Lebanon on Friday as Hezbollah rockets wounded two people in the northern Israeli city, Haifa. New polls indicate Israel's government is losing support for its conduct of the war in Lebanon.

Israel's Air Force intensified attacks in Lebanon on Friday, while ground force commanders continued to hold back the bulk of their troops from advancing north to the Litani River.

Israel's government has not yet authorized an expanded ground offensive, waiting to see if U.N. diplomats can broker a cease-fire acceptable to Israel. Gideon Meir, a Deputy Director General at the Israeli Foreign Ministry says no troops will be withdrawn from Lebanon until Israel feels the time is right.

"As long as there are no resolutions, as long as we do not know what is going to happen, we have to stay there to protect out people," he said.

New polls released on Friday show support for Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dropping sharply, with growing numbers of Israelis believing they are losing the war in Lebanon, or that Israel and Hezbollah will emerge from the conflict in a stalemate.