After the recent Israeli air strike on Gaza's al-Ahli Arab Hospital, which killed close to 500 people, and amid ongoing tensions at Lebanon's southern border with Israel, many are speculating about how Hezbollah's involvement in the conflict could change in the coming days.
Such questions come against the backdrop of sporadic skirmishes between Hezbollah and the Israeli military in southern Lebanon - a region often referred to as Israel's "northern front" - and centre on the potential for escalation.
Hezbollah has been engaging in tit-for-tat clashes with Israel since the outbreak of the Gaza conflict, as the party aims to maintain a deterrent stance while adhering to the established rules of engagement.
Clearly, Hezbollah is treading a delicate path in the south. It is not only fortifying the rules of engagement with the Israeli military, but also sending a clear message to both the Israeli and US establishments that it stands ready to engage at this critical juncture.
At the same time, there has been a notable mobilisation of Israeli forces towards the northern frontier, including reservists from elite units and battalions, while tanks and artillery are being positioned ahead of possible escalation.
The ambiguity surrounding Hezbollah's potential involvement in the war has inadvertently served Gaza's armed factions by keeping Israeli forces on alert, thereby dispersing the focus and resources of the defence establishment.
This constitutes a strategic advantage, hindering the Israeli military from concentrating its full might solely on the Gaza offensive, while adding a layer of complexity to the evolving geopolitical landscape....