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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 ?
But in an email response to Al Arabiya, Eric Fullath, who wrote the controversial article implicating Hezbolla, said Der Spiegel gave the Special Tribunal for Lebanon 24 hours to respond to queries about the names of people mentioned in the U.
Cuando has tenido que negociar con un soldado americano que te apunta a la cabeza para poder fotografiar como estaba arrestando a lo bestia a un saqueador en Bagdad; cuando has tenido que negociar con tipos de Hezbolla que te rodean armados para poder cubrir los bombardeos en Libano .
Quiza Israel y Hezbolla esten hartos de agredirse, de danarse y de mirar, en el caso de Israel, como la mayoria de los paises del mundo, y en particular los arabes, guardan silencio, pero le aprietan los dientes.
HEZBOLLA Hterrorists fighting in Lebanon have been using British made night vision equipment.
Through Lifnei HaMashber, experts are invited to explain and discuss deeply important issues like Iran, Hezbolla, Hamas, and others.
En entrevista con Proceso, Mekelberg explica que Iran se prepara para tener un "frente amplio de contraataque", el cual consiste en el desarrollo de un programa de armas nucleares, en claro desafio al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas; la posesion de armas biologicas y quimicas; un programa de misiles en el que planea utilizar cabezas nucleares, y el financiamiento de organizaciones insurgentes en la region de Medio Oriente, como Hamas en los territorios palestinos y Hezbolla en Libano.
Al mismo tiempo, Siria ha participado activamente en el conflicto palestino/israeli debido a su apoyo a los palestinos (4) y a las organizaciones terroristas como Hezbolla, Hamas y la Jihad Islamica, que para Damasco son organizaciones de liberacion nacional de los territorios palestinos.