A Spanish UINFIL peacekeeper stands on an observation tower that was damaged a day ahead in Israeli shelling, in the southern village of Abbassieh, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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The most serious escalation between Hezbollah and Israel since the end of the 2006 war appears to have tailed off into an uneasy calm, leaving both sides mulling the lessons of the past 11 days.After intense speculation as to the manner of Hezbollah's retaliation for the Jan. 18 airstrike near Qunaitra on the Golan that killed an Iranian general and six party personnel, including Jihad Mughniyeh, and Mohammad Issa, a senior field commander, Hezbollah opted for a "Shebaa Farms-plus" operation to exact revenge and attempt to restore its deterrence.The last time that Hezbollah employed anti-tank missiles to ambush an Israeli army convoy in the Shebaa Farms was in April 2001, before the Israelis built new supply roads hidden from the line-of-sight wire-guided Sagger systems then used by Hezbollah.Since the end of the 2006 war, there have only been six incidents of violence between Hezbollah and Israel across the Blue Line: the shooting of an Israeli colonel in Adaisseh in August 2010, the ambush against Israeli troops that crossed the border near Labboune in August 2013, Israel's airstrike against a Hezbollah facility in Janta in February last year and three attacks against Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms area, including Wednesday's operation.
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