Hezbollah

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Related to Hizbullah: Isis, Hamas

Hezbollah

[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.

Bibliography

See study by T. Cambanis (2011).

References in periodicals archive ?
Iraq is where Iran's Safawi ideology has been spread by Lebanese militia fighters from Hizbullah.
Hizbullah -- known as "the Party of God" -- is considered a terrorist organization by the U.
The complicated options would go to two related phenomena: (1) the tangled dynamics of Hizbullah's relations inside Lebanon and around the GME, and (2) the fact that the Israeli attack occurred on the Syrian side of the Golan front - an almost routine event, which actually hit three targets in one, namely Hizbullah, the Assad dictatorship and Iran.
Since 2004, however, Hizbullah has changed its main strategy and abandoned its arms and declared it will not use armed strategies anymore.
The source added that relations between Hizbullah and the United Nations are strained due to a number of thorny issues, which tend to target the Shiite group and its contentious military arsenal.
In a news analysis published on Monday, the paper's writer Ibrahim Bayram, quoting sources close to Hizbullah's decision-making body, said the first reason was that the party firmly believes that the American side had decided to escalate the confrontation with Hizbullah when it began a deliberate operation to "penetrate" the party's fighting body.
Ali and Husain Tajideen's multinational network generates millions of dollars in funding and secures strategic geographical strongholds for Hizbullah," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.
Nasrallah has been leading Hizbullah since his predecessor was killed by Israel in 1992.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the latest Israeli intelligence assessments suggest that the Hizbullah is planning a retaliatory terror attack.
Earlier this year, the US military said it had captured a Hizbullah fighter in southern Iraq who had been involved in the abduction and murder of American soldiers.
Media on both the right and left accepted Israel's and the United States' description of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, but the veracity of that description should have been questioned and discussed.