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Hezbollah (pronounced ; terrorist organization, in whole or in part.
Hezbollah was conceived by Muslim clerics and funded by Iran following the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that arrived from Iran with permission from the Syrian government. After the 1982 invasion, Israel occupied a strip of south Lebanon, which was controlled by a militia supported by Israel, the South Lebanon Army. Hezbollah waged a guerilla campaign against them; with the collapse of the SLA, Israel withdrew on May 24, 2000.
Hezbollah has grown to an organization with seats in the state within a state". Hezbollah is part of the March 8 Alliance within Lebanon, in opposition to the March 14 Alliance. Hezbollah maintains strong support among Lebanon's Shi'a population, while Sunnis have disagreed with the group's agenda. Following the end of the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon in 2000, its military strength grew significantly, such that its paramilitary wing is considered more powerful than the Lebanese Army. Hezbollah receives military training, weapons, and financial support from Iran, and political support from Syria. Hezbollah also fought against Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War.
After the occupied lands". Since 2012, Hezbollah has helped the Syrian government during the Syrian civil war in its fight against the Syrian opposition, which Hezbollah has described as a Zionist plot and a "Wahhabi-Zionist conspiracy" to destroy its alliance with Assad against Israel. Once seen as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab world, this image upon which the group's legitimacy rested has been severely damaged due to the sectarian nature of the Syrian Civil War in which it has become embroiled.
- History 1
- 1980s 1.1
- After 1990 1.2
- Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) 1.3
- Ideology 2
- The Hezbollah manifesto 2.1
- Propaganda 2.2
- Attitudes, statements, and actions concerning Israel and Zionism 2.3
- Attitudes and actions concerning Jews and Judaism 2.4
- Organization 3
- Funding 3.1
- Social services 4
- Political activities 5
- Media operations 5.1
- Military activities 6
- Lebanese Resistance Brigades 6.1
- Alleged suicide and terror attacks 6.2
- Conflict with Israel 6.3
- South Lebanon conflict 6.3.1
- 2000 Hezbollah cross-border raid 6.3.2
- 2006 Lebanon War 6.3.3
- 2010 gas field claims 6.3.4
- 2011 attack in Istanbul 6.3.5
- 2012 planned attack in Cyprus 6.3.6
- 2012 Burgas attack 6.3.7
- Assassination of Rafic Hariri 6.4
- Involvement in the Syrian civil war 6.5
- Involvement in Iranian-led intervention in Iraq 6.6
- Other 6.7
- Armed strength 7
- Targeting policy 8
- Attacks on Hezbollah leaders 9
- Foreign relations 10
- Public opinion 10.1
- Designation as a terrorist organization or resistance movement 10.2
- In the Western World 10.2.1
- In the Arab and Muslim world 10.2.2
- In Lebanon 10.2.3
- Scholarly views 10.2.4
- Views of foreign legislators 10.3
- See also 11
- References 12
- Further reading 13
- External links 14
- Official sites 14.1
- UN resolutions regarding Hezbollah 14.2
- Other links 14.3
Hezbollah emerged in South Lebanon during a consolidation of Shia militias as a rival to the older Amal Movement. Hezbollah played a significant role in the Lebanese civil war, opposing American forces in 1982–83 and opposing Amal and Syria during the 1985–88 War of the Camps. However, Hezbollah's early primary focus was ending Israel's 18-year-long occupation of southern Lebanon following Israel's 1982 invasion and siege of Beirut. When the Shia population of southern Lebanon realized that Israel had no intention of leaving, they rebelled. Amal, the main Lebanese Shia political group, initiated guerrilla warfare. In 2006, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak stated, "When we entered Lebanon ... there was no Hezbollah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence there that created Hezbollah".
Hezbollah waged an asymmetric war using suicide attacks against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli targets outside of Lebanon. Hezbollah is reputed to have been among the first Islamic resistance groups in the Middle East to use the tactics of suicide bombing, assassination, and capturing foreign soldiers, as well as murders and hijackings. Hezbollah also employed more conventional military tactics and weaponry, notably Katyusha rockets and other missiles. At the end of the Lebanese Civil War in 1990, despite the Taif Agreement asking for the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," Syria, which controlled Lebanon at that time, allowed Hezbollah to maintain their arsenal and control Shia areas along the border with Israel.
In the 1990s, Hezbollah transformed from a revolutionary group into a political one, in a process which is described as the Lebanonisation of Hezbollah. Unlike its uncompromising revolutionary stance in the 1980s, Hezbollah conveyed a lenient stance towards the Lebanese state.
In 1992 Hezbollah decided to participate in elections, and Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, endorsed it. Former Hezbollah secretary general, Subhi al-Tufayli, contested this decision, which led to a schism in Hezbollah. Hezbollah won all twelve seats which were on its electoral list. At the end of that year, Hezbollah began to engage in dialog with Lebanese Christians. Hezbollah regards cultural, political, and religious freedoms in Lebanon as sanctified, although it does not extend these values to groups who have relations with Israel.
In 1997 Hezbollah formed the multi-confessional Lebanese Brigades to Fighting the Israeli Occupation in an attempt to revive national and secular resistance against Israel, thereby marking the "Lebanonisation" of resistance.
The Lebanese Daily Star newspaper reported on April 14, 2014 that three Hezbollah members had been arrested in Thailand. The information was obtained from a specialist Thai intelligence website that identified a Thai citizen, Y. Ayyad, described as a Hezbollah member working out of a unit in East Asia, while the two Lebanese nationals that were arrested, D. Farhat and B. Bahsoun, were considered "suspects."
Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO)
Whether the Hezbollah
 It has also been banned by France, Spain and Germany. entity," and banned by the United States in December 2004.Specially Designated Global TerroristAl-Manar was designated as a "
Hezbollah's television station Al-Manar airs programming designed to inspire suicide attacks in
Hezbollah operates a satellite television station,
 on July 11, 2008 and Hezbollah has one minister and controls eleven of thirty seats in the cabinet.Fouad Siniora was formed by National unity government On the basis of this agreement, Hezbollah and its opposition allies were effectively granted veto power in Lebanon's parliament. At the end of the conflicts,  on May 21, 2008, to end the 18-month political feud that exploded into fighting and nearly drove the country to a new civil war.Doha Agreement At the end, rival Lebanese leaders reached consensus over  The army also pledged to resolve the dispute and has reversed the decisions of the government by letting Hezbollah preserve its telecoms network and re-instating the airport's security chief..Lebanese Army militiamen loyal to the backed government, in street battles that left 11 dead and 30 wounded. The opposition-seized areas were then handed over to the Future Movement neighborhoods from West Beirut Hezbollah-led opposition fighters seized control of several On May 7, 2008,
Hezbollah has been one of the main parties of March 8 Alliance since March 2005. Although Hezbollah had joined the new government in 2005, it remained staunchly opposed to the March 14 Alliance. On December 1, 2006, these groups began the 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests, a series of protests and sit-ins in opposition to the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
Hezbollah alongside with Amal is one of two major political parties in Lebanon that represent the Shiite Muslims. Unlike Amal, whose support is predominantly in the South of the country, Hezbollah maintains broad based support in all three areas of Lebanon with a majority Shia Muslim population: in the South, in Beirut and its surrounding area, and in the northern Beqaa valley and Hirmil region. It holds 14 of the 128 seats in the Parliament of Lebanon and is a member of the Resistance and Development Bloc. According to Daniel L. Byman, it's "the most powerful single political movement in Lebanon." Hezbollah, along with the Amal Movement, represents most of Lebanese Shi'a. However, unlike Amal, Hezbollah has not disarmed. Hezbollah participates in the Parliament of Lebanon.
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politics and government of
According to CNN, "Hezbollah did everything that a government should do, from collecting the garbage to running hospitals and repairing schools." In July 2006, during the war with Israel, when there was no running water in Beirut, Hezbollah was arranging supplies around the city. Lebanese Shiites "see Hezbollah as a political movement and a social service provider as much as it is a militia." Hezbollah also rewards its guerilla members who have been wounded in battle by taking them to Hezbollah-run amusement parks.
"Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings – it also boasts an extensive social development program. Hezbollah currently operates at least four hospitals, twelve clinics, twelve schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance program. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members."An IRIN news report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted:  Hezbollah has set up a Martyr's Institute (Al-Shahid Social Association), which guarantees to provide living and education expenses "for the families of fighters who die" in battle. One of its established institutions, Jihad Al Binna's Reconstruction Campaign, is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructure development projects in Lebanon..Nikah mut‘ah Hezbollah organizes an extensive social development program and runs hospitals, news services, educational facilities, and encouragement of
Members of the Venezuelan government have been accused of providing financial aid to Hezbollah by the United States Department of the Treasury. According to the testimony of a former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Noriega, Hugo Chávez's government gave "indispensable support" to Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere. In an article by the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, Noriega explained how two witnesses alleged that Ghazi Atef Nassereddine, a Venezuelan diplomat in Syria, was an operative of Hezbollah who used Venezuelan entities to launder money for Hezbollah with President Nicolas Maduro's personal approval.
Hezbollah has relied also on funding from the Shi'ite Lebanese Diaspora in West Africa, the United States and, most importantly, the Triple Frontier, or tri-border area, along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. U.S. law enforcement officials have identified an illegal multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling fund raising operation and a drug smuggling operation. However, Nasrallah has repeatedly denied any links between the South American drug trade and Hezbollah, calling such accusations "propaganda" and attempts " to damage the image of Hezbollah".
Hezbollah says that the main source of its income comes from donations by Muslims. Hezbollah receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria. According to reports released in February 2010, Hezbollah received $400 million from Iran. The US estimates that Iran has been giving Hezbollah about US$60–100 million per year in financial assistance. Other estimates are as high as $200-million annually.
In 2010, Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said, "Iran takes pride in Lebanon's Islamic resistance movement for its steadfast Islamic stance. Hezbollah nurtures the original ideas of Islamic Jihad." He also instead charged the West with having accused Iran with support of terrorism and said, "The real terrorists are those who provide the Zionist regime with military equipment to bomb the people."
Structurally, Hezbollah does not distinguish between its political/social activities within Lebanon and its military/jihad activities against Israel. "Hezbollah has a single leadership," according to Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's second in command. "All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership ... The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel."
Since the Supreme Leader of Iran is the ultimate clerical authority, Hezbollah's leaders have appealed to him "for guidance and directives in cases when Hezbollah's collective leadership [was] too divided over issues and fail[ed] to reach a consensus." After the death of Iran's first Supreme Leader, Khomeini, Hezbollah's governing bodies developed a more "independent role" and appealed to Iran less often. Since the Second Lebanon War, however, Iran has restructured Hezbollah to limit the power of Hassan Nasrallah, and invested billions of dollars "rehabilitating" Hezbollah.
The supreme decision-making bodies of the Hezbollah were divided between the Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Assembly) which was headed by 12 senior clerical members with responsibility for tactical decisions and supervision of overall Hizballah activity throughout Lebanon, and the Majlis al-Shura al-Karar (the Deciding Assembly), headed by Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah and composed of eleven other clerics with responsibility for all strategic matters. Within the Majlis al-Shura, there existed seven specialized committees dealing with ideological, financial, military and political, judicial, informational and social affairs. In turn, the Majlis al-Shura and these seven committees were replicated in each of Hizballah's three main operational areas (the Beqaa, Beirut, and the South).
At the beginning many Hezbollah leaders have maintained that the movement was "not an organization, for its members carry no cards and bear no specific responsibilities," and that the movement does not have "a clearly defined organizational structure." Nowadays, as Hezbollah scholar Magnus Ranstorp reports, Hezbollah does indeed have a formal governing structure, and in keeping with the principle of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (velayat-e faqih), it "concentrate[s] ... all authority and powers" in its religious leaders, whose decisions then "flow from the ulama down the entire community."
In November 2009, Hezbollah pressured a private English-language school to drop reading excerpts from The Diary of Anne Frank, a book of the writings from the diary kept by the Jewish child Anne Frank while she was in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. This was after Hezbollah's Al-Manar television channel complained, asking how long Lebanon would "remain an open arena for the Zionist invasion of education?".Holocaust denial The group has been accused by American analysts of engaging in .Jewish world domination conspiracy Al-Manar was criticized in the West for airing "anti-Semitic propaganda" in the form of a television drama depicting a , the Hezbollah-owned and operated television station, accused either Israel or Jews of deliberately spreading HIV and other diseases to Arabs throughout the Middle East.Al-Manar Conflicting reports say
"The anti-Semitism of Hezbollah leaders and spokesmen combines the image of seemingly invincible Jewish power ... and cunning with the contempt normally reserved for weak and cowardly enemies. Like the Hamas propaganda for holy war, that of Hezbollah has relied on the endless vilification of Jews as 'enemies of mankind,' 'conspiratorial, obstinate, and conceited' adversaries full of 'satanic plans' to enslave the Arabs. It fuses traditional Islamic anti-Judaism with Western conspiracy myths, Third Worldist anti-Zionism, and Iranian Shiite contempt for Jews as 'ritually impure' and corrupt infidels. Sheikh Fadlallah typically insists ... that Jews wish to undermine or obliterate Islam and Arab cultural identity in order to advance their economic and political domination.", a historian specializing in the study of anti-Semitism, described Hezbollah's ideology concerning Jews: Robert S. Wistrich , "it is not contingent upon it "because Hezbollah's hatred of Jews is more religiously motivated than politically motivated.anti-Judaism, a Lebanese political analyst, argues that although Zionism has influenced Hezbollah's Amal Saad-Ghorayeb  statements have been attributed to them.anti-Semitic. However, various Zionism and Judaism Hezbollah officials say that the group distinguishes between
Attitudes and actions concerning Jews and Judaism
|“||If they go from Shebaa, we won't stop fighting them. ... Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine, ... The Jews who survive this war of liberation can go back to Germany or wherever they came from. However, that the Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948 will be 'allowed to live as a minority and they will be cared for by the Muslim majority.'||”|
—Hezbollah's spokesperson Hassan Ezzedin, about an Israeli withdrawal from Shebaa Farms
Hezbollah says that its continued hostilities against Israel are justified as reciprocal to Israeli operations against Lebanon and as retaliation for what they claim is Israel's occupation of Lebanese territory. Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, and their withdrawal was verified by the United Nations as being in accordance with resolution 425 of March 19, 1978, however Lebanon considers the Shebaa farms—a 26-km² (10-mi²) piece of land captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 war and considered by the UN to be Syrian territory occupied by Israel—to be Lebanese territory. Additionally, Hezbollah claims that three Lebanese prisoners are being held in Israel. Finally, Hezbollah consider Israel to be an illegitimate state. For these reasons, they justify their actions as acts of defensive jihad.
From the inception of Hezbollah to the present, the elimination of the State of Israel has been one of Hezbollah's primary goals. Some translations of Hezbollah's 1985 Arabic-language manifesto state that "our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated". According to Hezbollah's Deputy-General, Na'im Qasim, the struggle against Israel is a core belief of Hezbollah and the central rationale of Hezbollah's existence.
Attitudes, statements, and actions concerning Israel and Zionism
An example of a Hezbollah and Bashar Al Assad Propaganda Video uploaded to YouTube by a supporter
There are several YouTube channels that support Hezbollah such as the Electronic Resistance
Propaganda.Ruhollah Khomeini Ayatollah theology developed by Iranian leader Shi'a Hezbollah follows the Islamic
On February 16, 1985, Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin issued Hezbollah's manifesto. Translated excerpts from Hezbollah's original 1985 manifesto read:We are the sons of the umma (Muslim community) ...
... We are an ummah linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message God wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., Prophet Muhammad. ... As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Quran, the Sunna and the legal rulings of the faqih who is our source of imitation ...
The Hezbollah manifesto
The ideology of Hezbollah has been summarized as Shi'i radicalism. Hezbollah was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early 1980s in order to spread Islamic revolution and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shi'a ideology (Valiyat al-faqih or Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the "Islamic Revolution" in Iran. Although Hezbollah originally aimed to transform Lebanon into a formal Faqihi Islamic republic, this goal has been abandoned in favor of a more inclusive approach.
A 2003 American court decision found IJO was the name used by Hezbollah for its attacks in Lebanon, parts of the Middle East and Europe. The US, Israel and Canada consider the names "Islamic Jihad Organization", "Organization of the Oppressed on Earth" and the "Revolutionary Justice Organization" to be synonymous with Hezbollah.
), for attacks against Israel.al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya Hezbollah reportedly also used another name, "Islamic Resistance" ( whose name was "used by those involved to disguise their true identity." and