Hezbollah fighters fired antitank missiles at a convoy, killing two Israeli soldiers. The much-anticipated reply to an Israeli strike 10 days before showed the challenge both sides face: retaliation without escalation.
An Israeli raid over the weekend led to the highest number of Hezbollah deaths since a 2006 month-long war between the two. Hezbollah will now have to carefully weigh its desire to inflict a punishing message without escalating the situation further.
In the second half of 2014, the price of oil fell by 50 percent. Hezbollah, which last fought Israel in Lebanon in 2006, is starting to tighten its belt as its patron Iran feels the impact of lower oil revenues and sanctions.
A special tribunal has indicted five members of Hezbollah for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, seen by Syria then as a threat to its dominance in Lebanon. The prosecution's case has lacked a motive.
The minority Druze are split over whom to support in Syria - with some community leaders backing Assad as the best chance for their own survival. But others, like Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, disagree.
Even as a conference in Germany seeks to support nations hosting Syria refugees, Lebanon fears the Syrians will follow the path of Palestinians, whose refugee communities became entrenched, and radicalized, over time.
The fighting in northern Lebanon follows a series of unprecedented Sunni attacks against Lebanese troops in recent weeks. Sunnis in Lebanon accuse the army of being under the control of Hezbollah, a Shiite organization.
Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both targets of US-led airstrikes in Syria, are holding more than 21 Lebanese police and soldiers. Three have already been killed, and the government is under fire from captives' relatives.