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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 ?
In Zahle we have agreed on two Hezbollah candidates, Anwar Hussein Jomaa and MP Nicolas Fattoush," Qassem said, adding that the complete list will be announced in the coming days.
Kaabi said Nujaba proved to be a reliable partner for Hezbollah in the group's contribution to Syria's fight against Daesh, adding that the strong alliance would continue to persist in the future.
The administration's counter-Hezbollah campaign is an interagency effort that includes leveraging diplomatic, intelligence, financial and law enforcement tools to expose and disrupt the logistics, fundraising and operational activities of Iran, the Qods Force and the long list of Iranian proxies from Lebanese Hezbollah to other Shia militias in Iraq and elsewhere.
The fighting began a week ago when the Lebanese army, and Hezbollah together with the Syrian army, launched separate but simultaneous offensives against the Islamic State enclave straddling the border.
The Americans seem to be ratcheting up the pressure on Hezbollah through law enforcement actions and vis-Ei-vis Iran.
com/will-israel-go-war-tel-aviv-wants-more-missiles-future-lebanon-conflict-2465893) war against Lebanon if Beirut did not do more to contain Hezbollah, whose (http://foreignpolicy.
6) Nasrallah himself appeared on Al Jazeera and, in a clip that aired several times, confidently portrayed Hezbollah as acting in the interests of all Muslims--"A defeat for us is a defeat for the whole Muslim nation.
Hezbollah said several others were injured in the blast and that it was investigating the nature of the explosion.
He knows that if Hezbollah launches a disproportional attack against Israel or violate the "rules of engagement", Israel will pound Lebanon and risk the entire Syrian enterprise.
It seems that the six Hezbollah operatives and perhaps as many as six Iran Revolutionary Guard officers, including Brig.
Mughniyeh will be buried in the same grave as his father Imad, who was killed in a 2008 car bombing that Hezbollah blamed on Israel.
A source close to Hezbollah said the raid killed six Iranian soldiers, including an officer of the elite Revolutionary Guards, although Tehran only confirmed the death of the general.