From its base in southern Lebanon, the terrorist group Hezbollah bombarded several northern Israeli towns with rockets and mortars. Hezbollah also attacked an Israeli army patrol on Israeli territory, killing three soldiers and taking two others hostage. Israel responded by moving troops into southern Lebanon and bombing runways on Beirut's airport to render it unusable. Israeli Prime Minister blamed the Syrian government for what he called Hezbollah's "act of war."
In a written statement, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "Hezbollah's action undermines regional stability and goes against the interests of both the Israeli and Lebanese people." Ms. Rice said, "Syria has a special responsibility to use its influence to support a positive outcome. All sides," she said, "must act with restraint to resolve this incident peacefully and to protect innocent life and civilian infrastructure."
President George W. Bush said Israel has a right to defend itself. But he is concerned that Israeli actions may weaken the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora:
"The democracy in Lebanon is an important part of laying a foundation for peace in the region."
President Bush says that for supporting terrorists, "Syria needs to be held to account":
"Syria is housing the militant wing of Hamas. Hezbollah has got an active presence in Syria. The truth of the matter is that, if we really want the situation to settle down, the soldiers need to be returned, and President [Bashar] Assad needs to show some leadership toward peace."
Mr. Bush says, "Hezbollah doesn't want there to be peace. The militant arm of Hamas doesn't want there to be peace." And he says, "those of us who do want peace will continue to work together to encourage peace."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.