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US to give Israel another week for attacks

By Super
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Jerusalem, July 23: Israeli officials believe they have approval from the United States to keep up attacks on Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon for at least another week, an Israeli newspaper said today.

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due to leave for West Asia today for talks on resolving the crisis, but Israel's main ally has resisted growing calls for a ceasefire.

''Senior officials believe Israel has an American nod to continue operations against Hizbollah at least until next Sunday,'' the Haaretz newspaper said on its Web site.

US officials in Israel were not immediately available for comment on the report.

Israel's onslaught in Lebanon to cripple Hizbollah, after the group abducted two soldiers from Israel on July 12, has claimed 355 lives, mostly civilians. Hizbollah attacks and rockets have killed 34 Israelis.

The United States has stressed the need to tackle what it sees as the root cause of the conflict -- Hizbollah's armed presence on Israel's border and the role of its allies, Syria and Iran.

Reuters

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