Hezbollah

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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 ?
El-Garhy founded Al Hezb El Comedy in 2011 after being frustrated at the lack of venues and opportunities for Egyptian comedians, and his project went from being simply an open mic event to a platform that today represents some 40 comedians performing regularly throughout Egypt.
People got fed up because they came to laugh and not get bored," says Mohammed Morgan, a veteran with four years of stand-up experience who performs with Al Hezb El Comedy.
As the mujahedin pursue their endemic squabbles, Dostam awaits his chance of seizing power with the help of Hezb i Wahdat and the moderate groups.
After weeks of silence, reports have trickled in that the Hezb have proposed three new conditions for continuation of the peace talks.
No new conditions have been proposed, and talks with the Hezb e Islami are continuing normally, he claimed.
The government has conceded to a long list of Hezb e Islami demands like the release of all its imprisoned fighters and removal of its and Hekmatyar's names from the US blacklist.
Ataul Rahman Saleem, a deputy in the High Peace Council, and Amin Karim who represented the Hezb e Islami, signed a 25-point peace deal between the two sides.
My younger sister's husband was killed in the war between Hezb Islami and the Hezb-e-Islami led by General Dostum in Mazar-e-Sharif.
They started shelling Bakara market and other civilian populated areas killing many civilians," Hezb al-Islam commander Sheik Mohamed Osman said.
The Hezb deputy chief said problems between Afghans were very minor and they had the major problem with foreigners.