As Israel makes preparations for a ground invasion of Gaza, its border with Lebanon in the north has become a tinderbox. Skirmishes between the powerful Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Israeli army have ruptured the relative calm that has held between the two enemies for some years.
Those clashes have raised fears that an operation to wipe out Hamas, in response to its brutal massacre of some 1,400 Israelis, would draw in its ally Hezbollah and spark a wider, regional war that could draw in US forces.
So what does Hezbollah want? And what will determine whether it joins the fray? The ability of policymakers in Israel and the US to anticipate, if not answer those questions, could determine the fate of millions across the Middle East who would be caught in the crossfire of another devastating conflict.
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