Israel-Lebanon: A funeral for two women shows how furious fighting is ratcheting up the risk of all-out war

The gunfire rang long and loud.

We watched as angry and tearful men fired into the air chanting death threats against Israel and America in Deir Qanoun En Nahr in southern Lebanon.

Ambulance sirens wailed and crowds of young Lebanese female medics stood holding pictures of their colleague, their faces creased in pain and sorrow.

We've been to many funerals recently. This was the ceremony for two civilians, both women - one a mother, the other an emergency medic in her twenties.

They are the latest civilian victims to be killed in Israeli border attacks.

There's terror on the other side of the border too, in Israel, with a marked escalation in the quantity and range of attacks from the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

The increasingly furious and dangerous skirmishes on the Lebanese-Israeli border are becoming deeper in territory and longer in range and the odds of all-out war in the region have correspondingly shortened.

The situation has become so alarming that the two top United Nations officials in Lebanon have warned they are deeply concerned about the recent clashes along the southern border.

The weekend statement from the UN Special Co-ordinator for Lebanon, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and Aroldo Lazaro, the head of the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, warned: "The danger of miscalculation leading to a sudden and wider conflict is very real."

And they urged "all actors to cease their fire and commit to working toward a political and diplomatic solution".

Right now, though, neither side seems willing to back down while reiterating they don't want war but they're ready for it.

And it seems the communities suffering on both sides are encouraging this approach.

Around 90,000 people have had to flee their homes in northern Israel while Lebanese authorities say 100,000 have been displaced from the southern border.

They're angry, homeless and they want their lives back. They want to return.

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'She was my only daughter'

The Lebanese father of 25-year-old medic Sally Skeiky told us by his daughter's grave in Deir Qanoun En Nahr that he wanted revenge, too.

"I believe her death is a necessary sacrifice," Hussein Skeiky told us.

"She was my only daughter. But everyone thinks about this… what can we do? My country needs us now."

He went on to voice what many Lebanese people feel.

"I want to remove our enemy [Israel] from this country. This enemy beside us is very dangerous… we need to remove him from here. There are people now making the fight with our enemy and we want to help them."

"Do you mean revenge?" I asked him.

"Yes," he replied.

'Increasing aggression' bringing region 'to the brink'

In Israel too, those forced out of their homes - after Hezbollah opened up a second front following the Hamas attacks last October - are pressurising the authorities to secure the border.

The cross-border escalation prompted senior Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari to say on Sunday: "Since deciding to join the war that Hamas started on 7 October Hezbollah has fired over 5,000 rockets; anti-tank missiles and explosive UAVs from Lebanon at Israeli families, homes, and communities."

And he went on to warn: "Hezbollah's increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation - one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region."

And that is what the US envoy Amos Hochstein is flying into.

Mr Hochstein is an experienced negotiator and has been working behind the scenes for months now - trying to de-escalate tensions.

But he has his work cut out for him.

He flew into the region as news emerged of another Hezbollah commander killed in an IDF strike on a car near the southern Lebanese town of Tyre on Monday.

It comes on the heels of the worst week of skirmishes on the Israeli-Lebanon border since the start of the Gaza war in October.

The IDF killing of the most senior Hezbollah commander since October led to furious retaliation by Hezbollah who fired hundreds of rockets and drones into Israeli villages and towns - the most in a single day since October.

Analysts and experts have until now banked on both Hezbollah and the Israelis fearing they had far more to lose than to gain by all-out war.

Now they're not so sure.

With reporting from cameraman Jake Britton, specialist producer Chris Cunningham and Lebanon producer Jihad Jneid.