JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday she hoped the shooting in the Israel-Lebanon war would end within "a day or so."
In an interview with Israel Television, Rice said the broadened Israeli offensive in Lebanon, which began Friday a few hours before a cease-fire resolution was adopted in the U.N. Security Council, had been anticipated and was normal.
"I understand that this is going on," she said of the push by Israeli soldiers to thrust deep into Lebanon where an international force will move in alongside Lebanese army soldiers.
"My understanding is that this is part of the normal operations that were contemplated. When the cease fire — the cessation of hostilities — comes into being, Israel will stop," she said.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan "is working with the parties to establish a timetable for the cease-fire, but I would hope that within no more than a day or so that there would be a cessation of the hostilities on the ground," she said.
Rice said the resolution would enhance Israel's security by extending the authority of the Lebanese government to southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah guerrillas had been in control for many years.
She said the international and Lebanese troops "will keep Hezbollah away from the border."