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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 ?
9) "Speech Delivered By Hezballah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah During A Ceremony Marking The Anniversary Of The Martyr Leaders Held In Sayyed Ashuhada Compound On Wednesday February 16, 2011," press release, Hizb Allah, February 19, 2011.
So I do not understand why, when the two words ``hezb'' and Allah are joined together they turn into ``Hezbollah'' instead of Hezballah.
Like Bush Administration officials quoted in recent New Fork Times and Los Angeles Times stories, he thinks those costs could include rocket attacks on Israel by the Iranian-backed Hezballah militia in Lebanon, as well as "asymmetrical warfare" targeting U.
They were imposed to change various policies, including opposition to the Middle East peace process, support for Hezballah and Hamas, acquisition of nuclear and ballistic weapons, general support for international terrorism, and hostility toward the U.
Adham Tabaja, who said to be a member of Hezballah, as well as his company Al-Inmaa Group for Tourism Works, and its subsidiaries both in Lebanon and Iraq, have shown "direct ties to senior Hezballah organizational elements, including the terrorist group's operational component, the Islamic Jihad," according to the Treasury's statement.
Still, with substantial Hezballah troop deployments, Damascus regained momentum in recent weeks even if it was impossible to know whether such gains were permanent.