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By international correspondent Alex Ross on the Israel-Lebanon border

The roads through northern Israel near the Lebanese border are empty of cars.

It is undisturbed calm.

Since October 7, the area has been under shelling from Hezbollah militants, and tens of thousands of people have left under government evacuation orders.

Ariel Frisch, deputy chief of security at the front line in Kiryat Shmona, shows me the damage in the residential area.

The house was burnt as a result of the fire caused by the strike.

“We were attacked by a large wave of rockets, one of the rockets hit this house,” he said.

“There was no one here because we took the town a week ago. And if we hadn’t, there wouldn’t have been any survivors.”

The Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire on a daily basis in the north for more than six months – and it looks like full-scale war may not be far away.

Walking in northern communities is scary.

You can hear the sound of birds singing and the constant buzz of airplanes and jets circling overhead.

A short distance from the Lebanese border and a former IDF commander, Gideon Harar, who lives in one of the communities along the line of fire, says a major confrontation is more likely every day.

The situation, the confrontation with Iran and Hezbollah, as well as the war in Gaza, make this an incredibly dangerous time for the region.

“Shooting is daily. Missiles, drones every day,” he said.

“Now is the most dangerous point in the Middle East in forty years. If Israel takes military action against Iran, it could lead to a Middle East war, a big war.”

IDPs moved to hotels and guesthouses in safer parts of Israel.

Evacuees in Tiberias can only wonder when it will be safe to return.

“The mood in Israel is very disappointing. And it’s very dangerous to live here,” said Daniel Boker, who left his hometown of Metula for the border months ago.

Tensions are now the highest they have been in decades, and this is affecting Israel’s preparations.

The national emergency service, Magen David Adom, was collecting equipment in an underground facility. Chief of Staff Uri Shacham tells me that October 7 changed everything.

“We are preparing for a long campaign or a long war,” he said.

“If you had talked to me in September 2023, I would have said we have a month’s supply.

“Today, because of what we expect, [we are] Preparation… many more months [worth] equipment.”

Israel is now facing a crisis on many fronts, but it is clear that the situation in the north is increasingly untenable.

It wouldn’t take much to start a full scale war.

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