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[Arab., = Party of God], Lebanese Shiite political party and militia. Founded in 1982 with Iranian help to oppose Israeli forces occupying S Lebanon, Hezbollah launched guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli forces (which were a factor in Israel's withdrawal in 2000), and mounted terror attacks on other targets inside and outside Lebanon, including the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. With strong support among religious, comparatively poor Shiites in S Lebanon the Biqa (Bekaa) valley, and Beirut's southern suburbs, and underwritten financially by Iran and individual Shiites, Hezbollah established a Shiite social-services network, including schools, hospitals, and clinics, and emerged as a major Lebanese political force; it has been led since 1992 by Hassan Nasrallah, a charismatic Shiite cleric. Supported militarily by Iran and Syria, Hezbollah's fighters used the years after Israel's withdrawal to retrain and rearm, acquiring large numbers of missiles and sophisticated equipment.

Politically part of the pro-Syrian camp in Lebanon, the party nonetheless became part of the largely anti-Syrian government established in 2005, and resisted the government's and the United Nations' call that it disarm. In 2006 a cross-border Hezbollah attack on Israeli soldiers, in which two Israelis were captured, sparked warfare (July–August) between Hezbollah militia and Israeli forces in which Hezbollah launched hundreds of missiles at Israel (many at civilian targets) and maintained a stubborn resistance against the Israeli forces that invaded S Lebanon.

Hezbollah emerged from the fighting, which it regarded as a victory, determined to claim a larger political voice in the Lebanese government, and ulitmately forced (2008) the goverment to give it and its allies veto power in the cabinet. In the 2009 elections its coalition placed second, with 45% of the vote, and subsequently again served in a national unity government. Denouncing a joint UN-Lebanon investigation into Prime Minister Rafik HaririHariri, Rafik or Rafiq
, 1944–2005, Lebanese tycoon and political leader, b. Sidon. The son of a poor Sunni Muslim farmer, he moved to Saudi Arabia in 1965.
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's assassination, which ultimately indicted four Hezbollah members, the party and its allies withdrew from the government in 2011; they were part of a new government formed in July. Hezbollah has provided training and other support, including several thousand fighters, to Syrian government forces in the Syrian civil war.


See study by T. Cambanis (2011).

References in periodicals archive ?
10) Hizb Allah only fully admitted it was active in Syria in May 2013 after the battle for Qusayr had begun.
From Lebanese Hizb Allah to Iraq's Asaib Ahl al-Haq, organizations that have officially stated they have supplied Shi'a militiamen to Syria have all announced they follow Ayatollah Khomeini's revolutionary ideological concept of wilayat al-faqih (guardianship of the jurist).
13) According to the report, the site of Dargham's pronouncement was in the town of Arsal, located in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border, a Hizb Allah stronghold.
Iran and its regional allies, including Hizb Allah and Shi' a militias in Syria, are actively trying to sway Shi'a worldwide toward viewing the conflict in black-and-white terms, portraying all Syrian rebel groups as being virulently anti-Shi'a and in league with the "neo-imperialists, "namely the United States, European powers, and Israel.
At his funeral, Hizb Allah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah promised to retaliate with an "open war" against Israel.
According to an October 2 videotaped statement issued by the rebel al-Farouq Battalions, Ali Hussein Nassif, a purported Hizb Allah commander, along with two other Hizb Allah operatives, was killed in a series of operations launched by the al-Farouq Battalions and allied insurgent groups near the Syrian city of Qusair, located adjacent to the Syrian-Lebanese border.
It also shows that, in addition to bolstering the Saraya, Hizb Allah appears to be devoting similar efforts to mobilize other paramilitary forces ranging from independent, loosely organized formations to self-defense detachments affiliated with its political coalition allies within the March 8 bloc.
What is paramount for Tehran is that Syria remains an Iranian strategic "resistance" ally and a way-station to Hizb Allah in Lebanon.
Incharge of Political Science department of University of Lebanon and incharge of political wing of Hizb Allah of Lebanon D Ahmed Malli in his address said that the Pakistani nation had always supported the cause of liberation of the Palestine.
33) The importance of Nawa to the Syrian military's efforts in southern Syrian has led to allegations that it has sought the active involvement of seasoned Hizb Allah operatives to coordinate its campaign.
Instead, the public entrance of Lebanese Hizb Allah into the conflict on the side of the al-Assad regime during the battle of Qusayr in late May 2013 precipitated the sudden increase in Saudi foreign fighters in Syria.
Alwani, in a TV programmed, described Lebanese Hizb Allah Secretary General Hassan Nasr Allah as "a liar" which raised some parliamentarian criticism and anger.