Olmert spoke in Jerusalem at the start of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who called for a cease-fire, but not at any price.
Israel has demanded that as part of a truce, Hezbollah be dismantled and the Lebanese army be deployed on the Israeli-Lebanese border, but has indicated it would accept an international peacekeeping force in the area. The Lebanese government insists there be a truce before a longer-term deal is worked out.
Olmert said that for now, Israel's offensive would continue.
Olmert acknowledged the Israeli offensive has caused humanitarian problems and said he would work with the U.S. to try to alleviate them. Some 750,000 Lebanese have been displaced by the fighting.
Almost 400 Lebanese have been killed in Israel's air, land and ground offensive. Israel launched the operation July 12, after Hezbollah attacked an Israeli border patrol, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two, according to the AP.
A total of 40 Israelis have been killed, including 24 soldiers.
Olmert blamed Hezbollah for the suffering of the Lebanese civilians.
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