The United Nations Security Council is to hold an urgent meeting at the request of Lebanon on Friday on the exploding crisis in the Middle East.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has dispatched team of veteran U.N. diplomats to the region. He has also held intensive telephone consultations with various world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac.
President Bush said Thursday Israel has the right to defend itself and he criticized Hezbollah for sparking the latest violence with its kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Israel to restrain itself and avoid civilian casualties when attacking targets in Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based.
She says there is no doubt that others, including Syria and Iran, are encouraging the guerillas.
Russia and France say the Israeli reaction is "disproportionate" to the actions carried out against it.
But in an unusually harsh reaction, Saudi Arabia lashed out against what it calls "rash adventures" by elements inside Lebanon without legitimate authority or coordination with Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia says those under Israeli occupation have right to resist, but adds that the Lebanese elements have created a gravely dangerous situation for the Arab world.