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Israel-Lebanon clash: Could it spark another war?

The Israel-Lebanon clash today along the country's border did not involve Hezbollah, making it relatively controllable. A UN official told the Monitor that UNIFIL – the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon – was able to end today's fighting.

UNIFIL peacekeepers gesture as Israeli troops patrol the border fence in the southern border village of Adaisseh, Lebanon, Tuesday. Lebanese and Israeli soldiers exchanged fire on the border Tuesday in the most serious clashes in four years, leaving at least four people dead.

Ronith Daher/AP

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Lebanon's volatile border witnessed the most serious bout of violence in four years Tuesday when clashes between Lebanese and Israeli soldiers left at least four people dead.

While tensions have been running high between Lebanon and Israel amid feverish speculation of another war between Israel and Lebanon's militant Shiite Hezbollah, analysts and security sources say that the cross-border clash is probably an isolated incident.

"This is a controllable situation as long as it stays between the armies of two states," says Timur Goksel, a university lecturer in Beirut and former long-serving official with the United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon known as UNIFIL.

How the clash broke out

The fighting broke out around noon when Israeli troops attempted to cut down a tree on the border near the Lebanese village of Addaisseh that apparently was obscuring the view from a military observation post. It remains unclear who fired first – both Lebanon and Israel blamed each other for triggering the fighting.

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