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Gaza: Why Israel and Hamas are trading rocket fire

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But analysts say Hezbollah is unlikely to open up a fresh front by attacking Israel from Lebanon. The main risk comes from isolated attacks by Palestinian militants or groups associated with Al Qaeda.

"If it's not Hezbollah, I would not rule out actions by small groups," says Timur Goksel, a university lecturer in Beirut and former senior official with the UN peacekeeping force in South Lebanon known as UNIFIL. "There are many groups that would like to show solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. But if something big happens, the bill will be made out to Hezbollah."

Meanwhile, Gazans were sent messages on their cellphones by the Israeli military warning them to stay away from "terrorists" and refrain from carrying weapons. Many Palestinians stayed off the streets of Gaza City save for funeral processions.

The Israeli assaults came after Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel following the expiration of a six-month cease fire Dec. 19. The Israeli attacks sparked riots in West Bank cities and Israeli Arab villages, as well as protests in neighboring Arab states.

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