At Lebanon’s border with Israel, residents of a Christian village are hoping war can be avoided even as they prepare for the possibility of worsening hostilities between the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and Israel.
Located just a couple of kilometres from the frontier, the village of Rmeich has already suffered fallout from three weeks of clashes along the border between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah, the dominant force in southern Lebanon.
The village, along with the rest of Lebanon, is feeling the turbulence unleashed by the conflict raging some 200km (124 miles) away between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, an ally of the heavily armed Hezbollah.
Those who remain in Rmeich appear reluctant to discuss the politics of the crisis that has brought conflict to their doorstep, trying to preserve some normalcy in the village whose 18th-century church still holds a mass three times a day.
“I won’t say we’re feeling safe but the situation is stable,” village priest Toni Elias, 40, said as a military drone buzzed overhead.
“If we don’t hear the drone, we think something odd is going on. We’re used to it every day, 24/7,” Elias said.