The UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL has intensified its patrols in southern Lebanon, along another volatile border over which rockets have been fired into Israel.
While most of this week has been calm, earlier rocket fire followed by retaliatory Israeli shelling has stoked fears of a flare-up on the front, in addition to the Gaza conflict.
“UNIFIL is seriously concerned about these incidents,” said spokesman Andrea Tenenti.
“We constantly talk to the parties in order to urge them to use maximum restraint.”
it’s believed fundamentalist Islamic militants could be behind the attacks – rather than Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006.
Analysts believe the Iranian-backed group is eager to avoid another confrontation now, with its fighters busy helping President Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.
Our correspondent at the border, Maha Barada, said: “Many observers see that the security situation in southern Lebanon is closely related to the developments in Gaza. However many people living here in these villages are playing down the chances of a major escalation or war as a reaction to the launching of rockets from Lebanon into Israel.”
“There will be no war,” said local woman Zainab Nassar. “It is just a psychological war – and if there is one we won’t leave our houses, our land and our people.”
Whether violence escalates or not, the atmosphere is tense. UNIFIL hopes its presence will prevent further Middle East bloodshed.