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By Tom Perry
Beirut - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed for Israel on Saturday to discuss terms for a UN Security Council resolution to end its 18-day-old war with Hezbollah insurgents in Lebanon.
Rice, who visited Jerusalem and Beirut earlier in the week, was expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the evening and hold more talks in Israel on Sunday.
She will also hold talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has been pleading for an immediate ceasefire.
"(Rice's) instructions are to work with Israel and Lebanon to come up with an acceptable UN Security Council resolution that we can table next week," US President George Bush told a news conference in Washington on Friday.
Bush, speaking after talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said an international force should be sent quickly to southern Lebanon.
The two leaders did not call for an immediate ceasefire, saying a settlement must tackle Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon. Bush has said the Shi'a Muslim insurgents and their main allies Syria and Iran are to blame for the conflict.
Hezbollah says it is fighting a US-Israeli plan to wipe out all Israel's foes in the Middle East and has vowed to accept no "humiliating" terms to end the violence.
Washington has pledged $30-million to help Lebanon but America's attitude to the war has angered many Lebanese.
"They send the Israelis smart bombs and they send us blankets. If it was up to me, I wouldn't let this ship dock here. I would dump this stuff in the sea," said a Lebanese soldier watching US relief goods being unloaded in Beirut.
A US military cataraman had brought blankets, tarpaulins and medical kits for some of the 800 000 people displaced by the war. It was the first such seaborne US aid shipment.
International concern has mounted at civilian casualties in the war and at the humanitarian crisis it has caused in Lebanon.
At least 462 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Lebanon since the conflict erupted on July 12 when Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.
Hezbollah, which wants to swap the soldiers for Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, has killed 51 Israelis, 18 of them civilians hit by rockets fired into the Jewish state.
Rice has echoed Bush's stance that the root causes of the conflict - meaning Hezbollah's armed presence in Lebanon and its ability to menace Israel - must be dealt with before an effective truce can be secured.
Siniora argues that the main problem is Israel's occupation of the disputed Shebaa Farms area claimed by Lebanon, its detention of Lebanese prisoners and its refusal to hand over maps of minefields it has sown in the south.
US officials said much diplomatic work remained and it was unclear whether a UN resolution would be ready by Monday.
Key elements under discussion include a prisoner exchange, creating an international force and disarming Hezbollah.
The Lebanon war has overshadowed the conflict in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is waging a month-old offensive to recover a soldier captured by militants and halt Palestinian rocket fire.
Israeli aircraft bombed a suspected Hamas weapons factory and border tunnel in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the army said. No casualties were reported in the early morning attacks.
At least 150 Palestinians, around half of them gunmen, have been killed in the offensive. Israel has rejected demands for a prisoner exchange by the gunmen who captured Corporal Gilad Shalit by tunnelling under the border on June 25.
In the US city of Seattle, a woman was killed when a gunman fired at the offices of a Jewish organisation that arranged a rally in support of Israel. The gunman was reported to have shouted: "I'm a Muslim American. I'm angry at Israel."