Lebanese shepherd Ali Ahmad collects the remains of mortar shells in the southern village of Wazzani, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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As the guns fell silent and calm returned to both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border Thursday, a day after a Hezbollah attack killed at least two Israeli soldiers in the Shebaa Farms, Israel and the party exchanged indirect messages that averted a full-scale military confrontation for now.Lebanese troops and U.N. peacekeepers patrolled the border with Israel in the wake of the Hezbollah attack which came in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike that killed six party fighters and a top Iranian general in Syria's Golan Heights on Jan. 18 . Israeli drones were seen flying over the area where Hezbollah fighters ambushed the Israeli convoy Wednesday, sparking several hours of artillery exchanges in south Lebanon. However, Israel said it had received a message from UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, that Hezbollah was not interested in further escalation.UNIFIL officials neither confirmed nor denied passing messages between Israel and Hezbollah.The U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag reiterated the U.N.'s deep concern over the military escalation on the Lebanese-Israeli border and violation of U.N. Resolution 1701 that ended Israel's 34-day war on Lebanon in 2006 .
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