Hezbollah

Hezbollah

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Hezbollah is a Shi'a Muslim militant group
Militant
The word militant, which is both an adjective and a noun, usually is used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause, as in 'militant reformers'. It comes from the 15th century Latin "militare" meaning "to serve as a soldier"...

 and political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 based in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and leads the March 8 Alliance
March 8 Alliance
The March 8 Alliance is a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It has been the ruling coalition since January 25, 2011 when the alliance managed to nominate Najib Mikati as the new prime minister.-History:...

, which withdrew from the government in January 2011 over its refusal to reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international tribunal for the prosecution under Lebanese law of those responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon if they are proven to be connected...

. It receives financial and political support from Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and its paramilitary wing
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 is regarded as a resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 throughout much of the Arab
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 and Muslim
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 worlds. The United States, the Netherlands United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, and Canada classify Hezbollah as a terrorist
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 organization, in whole or in part.

Hezbollah first emerged in response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, during the Lebanese civil war
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. Its leaders were inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto listed its four main goals as "Israel's final departure from Lebanon as a prelude to its final obliteration," ending "any imperialist power in Lebanon," submission of the Phalangists to "just rule" and bringing them to trial for their crimes, and giving the people the chance to choose "with full freedom the system of government they want," while not hiding its commitment to the rule of Islam. Hezbollah leaders have also made numerous statements calling for the destruction of the state of Israel, which they refer to as the "Zionist entity
Zionist entity
Zionist entity is a phrase often used by Arabs and Muslims as a pejorative for the State of Israel. The term is described as a means of expressing hostility towards Israel, refusing to acknowledge its existence as a state, and denying its right to exist. Virginia Q...

."

Hezbollah, which started with only a small militia, has grown to an organization with seats in the Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 government, a radio and a satellite television-station
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

, and programs for social development. Hezbollah maintains strong support among Lebanon's Shi'a population, and is able to mobilize demonstrations of hundreds of thousands. Hezbollah alongside with some other groups began the 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests
2006–2008 Lebanese political protests
The 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests were a series of protests and sit-ins that began on 1 December 2006, led by groups in Lebanon that opposed the US and Saudi-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and ended on 21 May 2008 following the Doha Agreement...

 in opposition to the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

. A later dispute over Hezbollah preservation of its telecoms network led to clashes
2008 conflict in Lebanon
The 2008 conflict in Lebanon began on May 7, after Lebanon's 17-month long political crisis spiraled out of control. The fighting was sparked by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecommunication network and remove Beirut Airport's security chief Wafic Shkeir over alleged ties to Hezbollah...

 and Hezbollah-led opposition fighters seized control of several West Beirut neighborhoods from Future Movement militiamen loyal to Fouad Siniora. These areas were then handed over to the Lebanese Army. A national unity government
Lebanese government of July 2008
This is the list of the Lebanese government that was formed by Mr Fouad Siniora on July 11, 2008...

 was formed in 2008, giving Hezbollah and its opposition allies control of eleven of thirty cabinets seats; effectively veto power.

Hezbollah receives military training, weapons, and financial support from Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and political support from Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. Following the end of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in 2000, its military strength grew significantly.
Despite a June 2008 certification by the United Nations that Israel had withdrawn from all Lebanese territory, in August, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which secures Hezbollah's existence as an armed organization and guarantees its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands
Shebaa farms
The Shebaa Farms are a small uninhabited territory claimed by Lebanon, but occupied by Israel which claims they are in Syria's Golan Heights. Syrian policy is to vaguely accept the Lebanese claim, while refusing any binding demarcation until Israeli forces withdraw from the area.The United Nations...

." Since 1992, the organisation has been headed by Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

, its Secretary-General
Secretary-General
-International intergovernmental organizations:-International nongovernmental organizations:-Sports governing bodies:...

.

Hezbollah became a part of the government
Lebanese government of June 2011
The formation of a new government led by Najib Mikati follows five months of negotiations after the fall of the Saad Hariri government. Mikati formed a 30 minister cabinet.-Background:...

 for the first time on 13 June 2011.

1980s



Ending Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's occupation of Southern Lebanon was the primary focus of Hezbollah's early activities. Israel had become militarily involved in Lebanon in combat with
Operation Litani
The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

 the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, which had been invited into Lebanon after Black September in Jordan
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

. Israel had been attacking the PLO in Southern Lebanon in the lead-up to the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, and Israel had invaded and occupied Southern Lebanon and besieged Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

.

Hezbollah waged an asymmetrical guerrilla war against Israel using suicide attacks
Istishhad
Istishhad means the act of or the seeking of martyrdom in Islam. In recent years the term has been said to "emphasize... heroism in the act of sacrifice" rather than "victimization," and has "developed... into a military and political strategy," often called "martyrdom operations". Istishhad...

 against the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF) and against Israeli targets outside of Lebanon. Hezbollah is reputed to have been among the first Islamic resistance groups to use tactical suicide bombing, assassination, and capturing foreign soldiers in the Middle East. Hezbollah turned into a paramilitary organization and used missiles, Katyusha, and other type of rocket launchers and detonations of explosive charges instead of capturing, murders, and hijackings. At the end of the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 in 1990, despite the Taif Agreement
Taif Agreement
The Taif Agreement was an agreement reached to provide "the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon." Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war, politically accommodate the demographic...

 asking for the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, in control of Lebanon at that time, allowed Hezbollah to maintain their arsenal, and control the Shiite areas in Southern Lebanon along the border with Israel.

After 1990


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
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, supreme leader
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

 of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, endorsed it. Former Hezbollah secretary general, Subhi al-Tufayli
Subhi al-Tufayli
Sheikh Subhi al-Tufayli is a former secretary-general of Hezbollah. Tufayli was an Islamist ideologue and close follower of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini....

, 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 multi-confessional Lebanese Brigades to Fighting the Israeli Occupation, which was an attempt to revive national and secular resistance against Israel, which marks the Lebanonisation of resistance.

Islamic Jihad Organization


Whether the Islamic Jihad Organization
Islamic Jihad Organization
The Islamic Jihad Organization – IJO or Organisation du Jihad Islamique in French, but best known as ‘Islamic Jihad’ for short, was a fundamentalist Shia group known for its activities in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War...

 (IJO) was a nom de guerre used by Hezbollah or a separate organization, is disputed.

Hezbollah leaders reportedly admitted their involvement in IJO's attacks and the nominal nature of "Islamic Jihad" – that it was merely a "telephone organization," and whose name was "used by those involved to disguise their true identity."

A 2003 decision by an American court found IJO was the name used by Hezbollah for its attacks in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and parts of the Middle East, and Europe. Hezbollah also used another name, Islamic Resistance, or al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, for its attacks against Israel.

The names Islamic Jihad Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth and the Revolutionary Justice Organization are considered to be synonymous with Hezbollah by the United States, Israel, and Canada.

Ideology



The ideology of Hezbollah has been summarized as Shi'i radicalism
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

. Hezbollah was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Khomeini's followers in the early 1980s in order to spread Islamic revolution and follows a distinct version of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic Shi'a ideology (Valiyat al-faqih or Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) developed by Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

, leader of the "Islamic Revolution" in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. Although Hezbollah originally aimed to transform Lebanon into a formal Faqihi Islamic republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

, this goal has been abandoned in favor of a more inclusive approach.

The Hezbollah manifesto


On February 16, 1985, Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin issued Hezbollah's manifesto. Translated excerpts from Hezbollah's original 1985 manifesto read:
... 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
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

, i.e., Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. ... As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Quran, the Sunna
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 and the legal rulings of the faqih
Faqih
A Faqīh is an expert in fiqh, or, Islamic jurisprudence.A faqih is an expert in Islamic Law, and, as such, the word Faqih can literally be generally translated as Jurist.- The definition of Fiqh and its relation to the Faqih:...

 who is our source of imitation...
Hezbollah follows the Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic Shi'a theology developed by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

.

Attitudes, statements, and actions concerning Israel and Zionism


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.

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
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Although Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, and their complete withdrawal was verified by the United Nations, Lebanon now considers the Shebaa farms
Shebaa farms
The Shebaa Farms are a small uninhabited territory claimed by Lebanon, but occupied by Israel which claims they are in Syria's Golan Heights. Syrian policy is to vaguely accept the Lebanese claim, while refusing any binding demarcation until Israeli forces withdraw from the area.The United Nations...

—a 26-km² (10-mi²) piece of land captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 war and considered by the UN to be disputed territory between Syria and Israel—to be Lebanese territory. Additionally, Hezbollah claims that three Lebanese prisoners
Lebanese prisoners in Israel
Lebanese prisoners in Israel have been a source of contention between Lebanon and Israel and were an issue in the 2006 Lebanon War. The number of such detainees is disputed. According to the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah, there are two Lebanese citizens in Israeli prisons, but Israel...

 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
Defensive jihad
There are two types of armed religious warfare in Islam, namely the defensive jihad and the offensive jihad. This article discusses defensive jihad as a concept in Islamic law...

.

Attitudes and actions concerning Jews and Judaism



Hezbollah officials say that the group distinguishes between Judaism and Zionism. However, various anti-Semitic statements have been attributed to them. Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
Amal Abdo Saad-Ghorayeb is a Lebanese writer and political analyst known for her writings on the Israeli-Lebanese conflict and Hezbollah.-Life:...

, a Lebanese political analyst, argues that although Zionism has influenced Hezbollah's anti-Judaism, "it is not contingent upon it" because Hezbollah's hatred of Jews is more religiously motivated than politically motivated. Robert S. Wistrich
Robert S. Wistrich
‎Robert Solomon Wistrich is the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Wistrich is "a leading scholar of the history of antisemitism."-Early...

, a historian specializing in the study of anti-Semitism, described Hezbollah's ideology concerning Jews:
"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
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 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."
Conflicting reports say Al-Manar accused either Israel or Jews of deliberately spreading HIV and other diseases to Arabs throughout the Middle East. Al-Manar
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

, the Hezbollah-owned and operated television station, was criticized in the West for airing "anti-Semitic propaganda" in the form of a television drama depicting a Jewish world domination conspiracy. Hezbollah also used anti-Semitic educational materials designed for 5-year-old scouts. The group has been accused by American analysts of engaging in Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

.

In November 2009, Hezbollah pressured a private English-language school to drop 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, after Hezbollah's Al-Manar
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

 television channel complained, asking how long Lebanon would "remain an open arena for the Zionist invasion of education"?

Organization



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
Magnus Ranstorp
Dr Magnus Ranstorp, born March 13, 1965 in Hästveda, studies Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements. He is the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, directing a project on Strategic Terrorist Threats to Europe...

 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
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

 down the entire community."

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
Beqaa Governorate
Beqaa is a governorate in Lebanon with a population of 750,000 inhabitants.-Geography:The Beqaa governorate covers an area of 4,429 km². Béqaa is the primary center of Lebanon's agriculture. The Beqaa governorate forms the main geographical extension of Lebanon and it lies between the Western...

, Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, and the South).


Since the Supreme Leader of Iran
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

 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
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 has restructured Hezbollah to limit the power of Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

, and invested billions of dollars "rehabilitating" Hezbollah.

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
Naim Qassem
Sheikh Naim Qassem is the second in command of Hezbollah, with the title of deputy secretary-general.On Aug. 1, 2011 Qassem attended a ceremony for the eighth edition of his book Hezbollah, where he made the statement that "Billions of dollars have been offered to us to rebuild the deprivedsouth...

, 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."

In 2010, Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani
Ali Larijani
Ali Ardashir Larijani is an Iranian philosopher, politician and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Larijani was the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from August 15, 2005 to October 20, 2007, appointed to the position by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,replacing Hassan Rowhani...

 said takes "pride in Lebanon's Islamic resistance movement for its steadfast Islamic stance. Hezbollah nurtures the original ideas of Islamic Jihad." While he also praised the group for "steadfast Islamic stance." He also instead turned charge on the West for 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."

Funding


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
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. According to reports released in February 2010, Hezbollah received $400 million dollars 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.

Hezbollah has relied also on funding from the Shi'ite Lebanese Diaspora in West Africa, the United States and, most importantly, the Triple Frontier
Triple Frontier
The Triple Frontier is a tri-border area along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, where the Iguazú and Paraná rivers converge. Near the convergence are the cities of Ciudad del Este, Alto Paraná; Puerto Iguazú, Misiones and Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná...

, or tri-border area, along the junction of Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Argentina, and Brazil. U.S. law enforcement officials have identified an illegal multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling fund raising operation
Operation Smokescreen
Operation Smokescreen was an American interagency counterterrorist operation to disrupt fundraising by Hezbollah, that took place in early 1995, ending in 2002...

 and a drug smuggling operation.

Social services



Hezbollah organizes an extensive social development program and runs hospitals, news services, educational facilities, and encouragement of Nikah mut‘ah
Nikah mut‘ah
' , is a fixed-term marriage in Shi'a Islam. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. The marriage is contractual and is subject to renewal...

. One of its established institutions, Jihad Al Binna's Reconstruction Campaign, is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructure development projects in Lebanon. 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. An IRIN news report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted:
"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."


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
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, 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.

Political activities


Hezbollah alongside with Amal
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

 is one of two major political parties in Lebanon that represent the Shiite
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 Muslims. It holds 14 of the 128 seats in the Parliament of Lebanon
Parliament of Lebanon
The Parliament of Lebanon is the national parliament of Lebanon. There are 128 members elected to a four-year terms in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Lebanon has universal adult suffrage...

 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
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

, represents most of Lebanese Shi'a. However, unlike Amal, Hezbollah has not disarmed. Hezbollah participates in the Parliament of Lebanon.

Hezbollah has been one the main parties of March 8 Alliance
March 8 Alliance
The March 8 Alliance is a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It has been the ruling coalition since January 25, 2011 when the alliance managed to nominate Najib Mikati as the new prime minister.-History:...

 since March 2005. Although Hezbollah had joined the new government in 2005, it remained staunchly opposed to the March 14 Alliance
March 14 Alliance
The March 14 alliance , named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon that call for sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as...

. On December 1, 2006, these groups began the 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests
2006–2008 Lebanese political protests
The 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests were a series of protests and sit-ins that began on 1 December 2006, led by groups in Lebanon that opposed the US and Saudi-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and ended on 21 May 2008 following the Doha Agreement...

, a series of protests and sit-in
Sit-in
A sit-in or sit-down is a form of protest that involves occupying seats or sitting down on the floor of an establishment.-Process:In a sit-in, protesters remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met...

s in opposition to the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

.

On May 7, 2008 Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

's 17-month long political crisis
2006–2008 Lebanese political protests
The 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests were a series of protests and sit-ins that began on 1 December 2006, led by groups in Lebanon that opposed the US and Saudi-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and ended on 21 May 2008 following the Doha Agreement...

 spiraled out of control. The fighting was sparked by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecommunication network and remove Beirut Airport's security chief over alleged ties to Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

 said the government's decision to declare the group's military telecommunications network illegal was a "declaration of war" on the organization, and demanded that the government revoke it. Hezbollah-led opposition fighters seized control of several West Beirut neighborhoods from Future Movement 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 Lebanese Army. 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. At the end, rival Lebanese leaders reached consensus over Doha Agreement 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. 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, National unity government
Lebanese government of July 2008
This is the list of the Lebanese government that was formed by Mr Fouad Siniora on July 11, 2008...

 was formed by Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

 on July 11, 2008 and Hezbollah has one minister and controls eleven of thirty seats in the cabinet.

Hezbollah currently sits in the opposition March 8 alliance. However, they withdrew from the government
Lebanese government of November 2009
In November 2009, after five months of negotiations following the 2009 parliamentary elections, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri formed a national unity government.-Method:...

 citing inability to discuss issues over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international tribunal for the prosecution under Lebanese law of those responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon if they are proven to be connected...

.

Media operations


Hezbollah operates a satellite television station, Al-Manar TV ("the Lighthouse") and a radio station al-Nour
Al-Nour
Al-Nour is a pro-Hezbollah radio station based in Beirut, Lebanon. The station was established on 9 May 1988.In July 2006 during the Israel-Lebanon crisis, Israel attacked Hezbollah's TV station Al-Manar and radio station Al-Nour in Haret Hreyk .-Objectives:Al Nour has stated its objectives...

("the Light"). Al-Manar broadcasts from Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Lebanon. Hezbollah launched the station in 1991 with the help of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian funds. Al-Manar, the self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance," (qanat al-muqawama) is a key player in what Hezbollah calls its "psychological warfare
Psychological warfare
Psychological warfare , or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations , have been known by many other names or terms, including Psy Ops, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and Propaganda...

 against the Zionist enemy
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

" and an integral part of Hezbollah's plan to spread its message to the entire Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

.

Hezbollah's television station Al-Manar
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

 airs programming designed to inspire suicide attacks in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Al-Manar's transmission in France is prohibited due to promotion of Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

, a criminal offense in France. The United States lists Al-Manar
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

 television network as a terrorist organization.

Al-Manar was designated as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist
Specially Designated Global Terrorist
Specially Designated Global Terrorist is a designation authorized under U.S. Executive Order 13224 , among other executive orders, and Title 31, Parts 595, 596, and 597 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, among other U.S. laws and regulations. SDGT designations are administered and enforced...

 entity," and banned by the United States in December 2004.
It has also been banned by France, Spain and Germany,

Materials aimed at instilling principles of nationalism and Islam in children are an aspect of Hezbollah's media operations. The Hezbollah Central Internet Bureau released a video game in 2003 entitled Special Force
Special Force
Special Force is a first-person shooter military video game, published by Hezbollah, created using the Genesis 3D engine. The game is set in a 3D environment, in which the player takes the role of a Hezbollah combatant fighting the IDF...

and a sequel in 2007 in which players are rewarded with points and weapons for killing Israelis.

Military activities



Hezbollah has a military branch known as Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya ("The Islamic Resistance") and is the possible sponsor of a number of lesser-known militant groups, some of which may be little more than fronts for Hezbollah itself, including the Organization of the Oppressed, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, the Organization of Right Against Wrong, and Followers of the Prophet Muhammad.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, adopted on September 2, 2004, after recalling resolutions 425 , 426 , 520 and 1553 on the situation in Lebanon, the Council supported free and fair presidential elections in Lebanon and called upon remaining foreign forces to withdraw from the...

 called for the disarmament of militia with the Taif agreement
Taif Agreement
The Taif Agreement was an agreement reached to provide "the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon." Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war, politically accommodate the demographic...

 at the end of the Lebanese civil war
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. Hezbollah denounced, and protested against, the resolution. The 2006 military conflict with Israel has increased the controversy. Failure to disarm remains a violation of the resolution and agreement as well as subsequent United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 is a resolution that was intended to resolve the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.It was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on 11 August 2006. The Lebanese cabinet, which includes two members of Hezbollah, unanimously approved the...

. Since then both Israel and Hezbollah have asserted that the organization has gained in military strength. A Lebanese public opinion poll taken in August 2006 shows that most of the Shia did not believe that Hezbollah should disarm after the 2006 Lebanon war, while the majority of Sunni, Druze and Christians believed that they should. The Lebanese cabinet, under president Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman or Sleiman is the President of Lebanon. Before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. After LAF commander Émile Lahoud took office as president in November of 1998, Suleiman succeeded him, taking his place in December...

 and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

, guidelines state that Hezbollah enjoys the right to "liberate occupied lands." In 2009, a Hezbollah commander (speaking on condition of anonymity) said, "[W]e have far more rockets and missiles [now] than we did in 2006."

Suicide attacks and kidnappings


Between 1982 and 1986, there were 36 suicide attacks in Lebanon directed against American, French and Israelis forces by 41 individuals with predominantly leftist political beliefs and of both major religions, killing 659. Hezbollah denies involvement in any attack, though it has been accused of some or all of these attacks:
  • The 1982–1983 Tyre headquarters bombings
    Tyre headquarters bombings
    The Tyre truck bombings, also known as the Tyre disaster, were two suicide bombings against the Israel Defense Forces' headquarters building in Tyre, Lebanon, in 1982 and 1983. The blasts killed 103 IDF Israelis and 46–59 Lebanese, wounding 95 people and were some of the worst losses ever for the IDF...

  • The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing (by the Islamic Jihad Organization
    Islamic Jihad Organization
    The Islamic Jihad Organization – IJO or Organisation du Jihad Islamique in French, but best known as ‘Islamic Jihad’ for short, was a fundamentalist Shia group known for its activities in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War...

    ),
  • The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing
    1983 Beirut barracks bombing
    The Beirut Barracks Bombing occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen...

     (by the Islamic Jihad Organization), that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut
  • A spate of attacks on IDF
    Israel Defense Forces
    The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

     troops and SLA
    South Lebanon Army
    The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

     militiamen in southern Lebanon.
  • Hijacking of TWA Flight 847
    TWA Flight 847
    TWA Flight 847 was an international Trans World Airlines flight which was hijacked by Lebanese Shia extremists, later identified as members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, on Friday morning, June 14, 1985, after originally taking off from Cairo. The flight was en route from Athens to Rome and then...

     in 1985,
  • The Lebanon hostage crisis
    Lebanon hostage crisis
    The Lebanon hostage crisis refers to the systematic kidnapping in Lebanon of 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins – mostly American and western European – between 1982 and 1992...

     from 1982 to 1992.


Since 1990, Hezbollah has been accused of the following attacks and attempted attacks (Hezbollah leaders denied involvement):
  • The January 15, 2008, bombing of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Beirut.
  • The 1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, killing 29, in Argentina.
  • The 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish cultural centre, killing 85, in Argentina.
  • In 2002, Singapore
    Singapore
    Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

     accused Hezbollah of recruiting Singaporeans in a failed 1990s plot to attack U.S. and Israeli ships in the Singapore Straits.
  • In 2009, a Hezbollah plot in Egypt
    2009 Hezbollah plot in Egypt
    The 2009 Hezbollah plot in Egypt involves the arrest of 49 men by Egyptian authorities in the five months preceding April 2009. Egypt accuses them of being Hezbollah agents planning attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula...

     was uncovered, where Egyptian authorities arrested 49 men for planning attacks against Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    i and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula
    Sinai Peninsula
    The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

    .

South Lebanon conflict



Hezbollah has been involved in several cases of armed conflict with Israel:
  • During the 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, Hezbollah waged a guerrilla campaign against Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    i forces occupying Southern Lebanon
    Southern Lebanon
    Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

    . Israel withdrew in 2000 in accordance with 1978's United Nations Security Council Resolution 425
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 425
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 425, adopted on March 19, 1978, five days after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, called on Israel to withdraw immediately its forces from Lebanon and established the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon...

    . With the collapse of their supposed allies, the SLA
    South Lebanon Army
    The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

    , and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, they withdrew suddenly on May 24, 2000 six weeks before the announced July 7 date." Hezbollah held a victory parade, and its popularity in Lebanon rose. Hezbollah and many analysts considered this a victory for the movement, and since then its popularity has been boosted in Lebanon.
  • On July 25, 1993, following Hezbollah's killing of seven Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon, Israel launched Operation Accountability
    Operation Accountability
    On July 25, 1993, Israeli forces launched a week-long attack against Lebanon named Operation Accountability in Israel and the Seven-Day War in Lebanon...

     (known in Lebanon as the Seven Day War), during which the IDF
    Israel Defense Forces
    The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

     carried out their heaviest artillery and air attacks on targets in southern Lebanon since 1982. The aim of the operation was to eradicate the threat posed by Hezbollah and to force the civilian population north to Beirut so as to put pressure on the Lebanese Government to restrain Hezbollah. The fighting ended when an unwritten understanding was agreed to by the warring parties. Apparently, the 1993 understanding provided that Hezbollah combatants would not fire rockets at northern Israel, while Israel would not attack civilians or civilian targets in Lebanon.
  • In April 1996, after continued Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, the Israeli armed forces launched Operation Grapes of Wrath
    Operation Grapes of Wrath
    Operation Grapes of Wrath is the Israeli Defense Forces code-name for a sixteen-day campaign against Lebanon in 1996 in an attempt to end shelling of Northern Israel by Hezbollah. Israel conducted more than 1,100 air raids and extensive shelling...

    , which was intended to wipe out Hezbollah's base in southern Lebanon. Over 100 Lebanese refugees were killed by the shelling
    1996 shelling of Qana
    The 1996 shelling of Qana or the First Qana massacre, took place on April 18, 1996 near Qana, a village in Southern Lebanon, when artillery shells fired by the Israeli Defence Force hit a United Nations compound. Of 800 Lebanese civilians who had taken refuge in the compound, 106 were killed and...

     of a UN base at Qana
    Qana
    Qana also spelled Cana is a village in southern Lebanon located southeast of the city of Tyre and north of the border with Israel. The 10,000 residents of Qana are primarily Shiite Muslim although there is also a Christian community in the village....

    , in what the Israeli military said was a mistake. Finally, following several days of negotiations, the two sides signed the Grapes of Wrath Understandings
    Israeli-Lebanese Ceasefire Understanding
    The Israeli–Lebanese Ceasefire Understanding was an informal written agreement between Israel and Hezbollah, reached through the diplomatic efforts of the US, which ended the 1996 military conflict between the two sides...

     on April 26, 1996. A cease-fire was agreed upon between Israel and Hezbollah, which would be effective on April 27, 1996. Both sides agreed that civilians should not be targeted, which meant that Hezbollah would be allowed to continue its military activities against IDF forces inside Lebanon.

2000 Hezbollah cross-border raid



On October 7, 2000, three Israeli soldiers
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 – Adi Avitan, Staff Sgt. Benyamin Avraham, and Staff Sgt. Omar Sawaidwere – were abducted by Hezbollah while patrolling the Israeli side of the Israeli-Lebanese border
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

. The soldiers were killed either during the attack or in its immediate aftermath. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz
Lt. General Shaul Mofaz is an Israeli politician who serves as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs And Defense Committee at the Knesset...

 has, however, said that Hezbollah abducted the soldiers and then killed them. The bodies of the slain soldiers were exchanged for Lebanese prisoners in 2004.

2006 Lebanon War


The 2006 Lebanon War was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon and northern Israel. The principal parties were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israeli military
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

. The conflict was precipitated by a cross-border raid by Hezbollah during which they kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers. In a speech in July 2008, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged that he had ordered the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in order to free prisoners held in Israeli jails. The conflict began
Zar'it-Shtula incident
The 2006 Hezbollah cross-border raid was a cross-border attack committed by Lebanon-based Hezbollah militants on an Israeli military patrol on 12 July 2006 on Israeli territory....

 on July 12, 2006 when Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, killing three, injuring two, and seizing two Israeli soldiers.

Israel responded with airstrike
Airstrike
An air strike is an attack on a specific objective by military aircraft during an offensive mission. Air strikes are commonly delivered from aircraft such as fighters, bombers, ground attack aircraft, attack helicopters, and others...

s and artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 fire on targets in Lebanon that damaged Lebanese civilian infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, including Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport is located 9 km from the city centre in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon and is the only operational commercial airport in the country. It is the hub for Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines...

 (which Israel said that Hezbollah used to import weapons and supplies), an air and naval blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

, and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF) in guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 from hardened positions. The war continued until August 14, 2006. Hezbollah was responsible for thousands of Katyusha rocket attacks against Israeli civilian towns and cities in northern Israel, which Hezbollah said were in retaliation for Israel's killing of civilians and targeting Lebanese infrastructure. According to The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, "In the fighting 1,200 Lebanese and 158 Israelis were killed. Of the dead almost 1,000 Lebanese and 41 Israelis were civilians."

2010 Gas Field Claims


In 2010, Hezbollah claimed that the Dalit and Tamar gas field
Tamar gas field
The Tamar gas field is a natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel, discovered in 2009. The gas field is located roughly west of Haifa in waters deep.-History:...

, discovered by Noble Energy
Noble Energy
Noble Energy, Inc. of Houston, Texas, United States is the modern name of Noble Affiliates Inc., by which it was known through the 1990s, and it is now an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with almost US$3 billion in revenue at #660 on the 2007 Fortune 1000 list of the largest...

 roughly 50 miles (80.5 km) west of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 in Israeli exclusive economic zone, belong to Lebanon, and warned Israel against extracting gas from them. Senior officials from Hezbollah warned that they would not hesitate to use weapons to defend Lebanon's natural resources. Figures in the March 14 Forces stated in response that Hezbullah was simply looking for
another excuse to hold on to its arms. Lebanese MP Antoine Zahra said that the issue is another item "in the endless list of excuses" meant to justify the continued existence of Hezbullah's arsenal.

2011 attack in Istanbul


In July 2011, Italian newspaper Corierre della Sera reported, based on American and Turkish sources, that Hezbollah was behind a bombing in Istanbul in May 2011 that wounded eight Turkish civilians. The report said that the attack was an assassination attempt on the Israeli consul to Turkey, Moshe Kimchi. Turkish intelligence sources denied the report and said "Israel is in the habit of creating disinformation campaigns using different papers."

2010 Lebanon Takeover Drills


In 2009, the United Nations special tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri reportedly found evidence linking Hezbollah to the murder.

Armed strength


Hezbollah has not revealed its armed strength. It has been estimated by Mustafa Alani, security director at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre that Hezbollah's military force is made up of about 1,000 full-time Hezbollah members, along with a further 6,000–10,000 volunteers.

Hezbollah possesses the Katyusha-122 rocket, which has a range of 29 km (18 mi) and carries a 15-kg (33-lb) warhead. Hezbollah also possesses about 100 long-range missiles. They include the Iranian-made Fajr-3
Fajr-3
The Fajr-3 Artillery Rocket is an Iranian multiple-launch artillery rocket, a third-generation Katyusha rocket. Fajr means 'dawn' in Arabic....

 and Fajr-5
Fajr-5
The Fajr-5 is an artillery rocket developed by Iran in the 1990s. The system is part of the Fajr family of rockets.-Overview:The latest production of the Fajr-5 is installed on a new Mercedes-Benz 6 x 6 forward control chassis and the platform is now integrated into a complete weapon system rather...

, the latter with a range of 75 km (46.6 mi), enabling it to strike the Israeli port of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, and the Zelzal-1
Zelzal-1
Zelzal-1 is an Iranian-made heavy artillery rocket with an estimated range of 150 km.-See also:*Zelzal-2*Zelzal-3*Military of Iran*Iran's missile forces*Iranian military industry*Current Equipment of the Iranian Army...

, with an estimated 150 km (93.2 mi) range, which can reach Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. Fajr-3 missiles have a range of 40 km (24.9 mi) and a 45-kg (99-lb) warhead, and Fajr-5 missiles, which extend to 72 km (44.7 mi), also hold 45-kg (99-lb) warheads. It was reported that Hezbollah is in possession of Scud
Scud
Scud is a series of tactical ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and exported widely to other countries. The term comes from the NATO reporting name SS-1 Scud which was attached to the missile by Western intelligence agencies...

 missiles that were provided to them by Syria. The reports were denied by Syria.

According to various reports, Hezbollah is armed with anti-tank guided missile
Anti-tank guided missile
An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

s, namely, the Russian-made AT-3 Sagger
AT-3 Sagger
The 9K11 Malyutka is a Manual Command to Line-of-Sight wire-guided anti-tank guided missile developed in the Soviet Union. It was the first man-portable anti-tank guided missile of the Soviet Union and is probably the most widely produced ATGM of all time—with Soviet production peaking at...

, AT-4 Spigot
AT-4 Spigot
The 9K111 Fagot is a SACLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile system of the Soviet Union. "9M111" is the GRAU designation of the missile. Its NATO reporting name is AT-4 Spigot.-Development:...

, AT-5 Spandrel
AT-5 Spandrel
The 9M113 Konkurs SACLOS wire-guided Anti-tank missile of the Soviet Union. "9M113" is the GRAU designation of the missile. Its NATO reporting name is AT-5 Spandrel.-Development:...

, AT-13 Saxhorn-2 'Metis-M', АТ-14 Spriggan 'Kornet'
9M133 Kornet
The Kornet is a Russian anti-tank missile . It is a second generation ATGM intended to deal with main battle tanks and to engage slow and low flying helicopters, but is not intended to fully replace previous systems, due to the cost...

; Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian-made Ra'ad
RAAD (missile)
The RAAD family of missiles is manufactured in Iran and based on the Soviet 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank guided missile with a range of a few kilometres...

 (version of AT-3 Sagger
AT-3 Sagger
The 9K11 Malyutka is a Manual Command to Line-of-Sight wire-guided anti-tank guided missile developed in the Soviet Union. It was the first man-portable anti-tank guided missile of the Soviet Union and is probably the most widely produced ATGM of all time—with Soviet production peaking at...

), Towsan (version of AT-5 Spandrel
AT-5 Spandrel
The 9M113 Konkurs SACLOS wire-guided Anti-tank missile of the Soviet Union. "9M113" is the GRAU designation of the missile. Its NATO reporting name is AT-5 Spandrel.-Development:...

), Toophan
Toophan
Toophan is an Iranian anti-tank missile that is a reverse-engineered copy of the US military TOW missile. The Toophan's payload is a 3.6 kg high-explosive anti-tank warhead that can penetrate up to 550mm of steel armor. The range is 3,850m, the top speed 310m/s...

 (version of BGM-71 TOW
BGM-71 TOW
The BGM-71 TOW is an anti-tank missile. "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment , Surface-Attack , Missile ". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"...

); and European-made MILAN
MILAN
MILAN " is French and German for "kite bird") is a European anti-tank guided missile. Design of the MILAN started in 1962. It was ready for trials in 1971, and was accepted for service in 1972. It is a wire guided SACLOS missile, which means the sight of the launch unit has to be aimed at the...

 missiles. These weapons have been used against IDF
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 soldiers, causing many of the deaths during the 2006 Lebanon War. A small number of Saeghe-2s (Iranian-made version of M47 Dragon
M47 Dragon
The M47 Dragon is an American shoulder-fired, man-portable anti-tank missile system. It has since been phased out in US service, in favor of the newer FGM-148 Javelin system.-Description:...

) were also used in the war.

For air defense, Hezbollah has anti-aircraft weapons that include the ZU-23 artillery and the man-portable, shoulder-fired SA-7
Strela 2
The 9K32 “Strela-2” is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance...

 and SA-18 surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

 (SAM). One of the most effective weapons deployed by Hezbollah has been the C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

 anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

.

Israeli commander Gui Zur called Hizbollah: “by far the greatest guerrilla
group in the world”

In April 2010 United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 claimed that the Hezbollah has far more missiles and rockets than the majority of countries. He said that Syria and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 are providing weapons to the organization. Israel also claims that Syria is providing the organization with these weapons. Syria has denied supplying these weapons and views these claims as an Israeli excuse for an attack. Leaked cables from American diplomats suggest that the United States has been trying unsuccessfully to prevent Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 from "supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon", and that Hezbollah has "amassed a huge stockpile (of arms) since its 2006 war with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

"; the arms were described as "increasingly sophisticated." Gates added that Hezbollah is possibly armed with chemical or biological weapons, as well as anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

s with a range of 65 miles (104.6 km) that could threaten U.S. ships.

Current estimates


, the Israeli government believed Hezbollah had an arsenal of more than 15,000 long-range rockets stationed on its border with Lebanon. Some of these missiles were said to be capable of penetrating cities as far away as Eilat.

The Israeli Ambassador to United States Michael Oren
Michael Oren
Michael B. Oren is an American-born Israeli historian and author and the Israeli ambassador to the United States...

 expressed deep concern with the revelation.
The IDF has accused Hezbollah of storing these rockets beneath hospitals, schools, and civilian homes.

Targeting policy


Hezbollah has not been involved in any suicide bombing
Istishhad
Istishhad means the act of or the seeking of martyrdom in Islam. In recent years the term has been said to "emphasize... heroism in the act of sacrifice" rather than "victimization," and has "developed... into a military and political strategy," often called "martyrdom operations". Istishhad...

 since Israel withdrew from Lebanon. After the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, Hezbollah condemned Al Qaeda for targeting the civilian World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

, but remained silent on the attack on The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

. Hezbollah also denounced the massacres in Algeria by Armed Islamic Group
Armed Islamic Group
The Armed Islamic Group is an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state...

, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya is an Egyptian Islamist movement, and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and Egyptian governments...

 attacks on tourists in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and the murder of Nick Berg
Nick Berg
Nicholas Evan "Nick" Berg was an American businessman who went to Iraq after the US invasion of Iraq. He was abducted and later beheaded according to a video released in May 2004 by Islamist militants...

.

Although Hezbollah has denounced certain attacks on civilians, some people accuse the organization of the bombing of an Argentine synagogue in 1994. Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, Marcelo Martinez Burgos, and their "staff of some 45 people" said that Hezbollah and their contacts in Iran were responsible for the 1994 bombing
AMIA Bombing
The AMIA bombing was an attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina building in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, that killed 85 people and injured hundreds. It was Argentina's deadliest bombing...

 of a Jewish cultural center in Argentina, in which "[e]ighty-five people were killed and more than 200 others injured." In June 2002, shortly after the Israeli government launched Operation Defensive Shield
Operation Defensive Shield
Operation Defensive Shield was a large-scale military operation conducted by the Israel Defense Forces in 2002, during the course of the Second Intifada. It was the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. The operation was an attempt by the Israeli army to stop the...

, Nasrallah gave a speech in which he defended and praised suicide bombings of Israeli targets by members of Palestinian groups for "creating a deterrence and equalizing fear." Nasrallah stated that "in occupied Palestine, there is no difference between a soldier and a civilian, for they are all invaders, occupiers and usurpers of the land."

Alleged Involvement in Murder of Rafic Hariri


On 30 June 2011, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international tribunal for the prosecution under Lebanese law of those responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon if they are proven to be connected...

, established to investigate the death of the former prime minister Rafic Hariri, issued arrest warrant
Arrest warrant
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.-Canada:Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or justice of the peace under the Criminal Code of Canada....

s against four senior members of Hezbollah. On 3 July, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

 rejected the indictment and denounced the tribunal as a plot against the party, vowing that the named persons would not be arrested under any circumstances.

Attacks on Hezbollah leaders


Hezbollah has also been the target of bomb attacks and kidnappings. These include:
  • In the 1985 Beirut car bombing
    1985 Beirut Car Bombing
    On 8 March 1985, a car bomb exploded between 9 and 45 metres from the house of Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, Lebanon, in a failed assassination attempt organized by the American CIA and British intelligence...

    , Hezbollah leader Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah was targeted, but the assassination attempt failed. It has been alleged that the CIA was responsible for this attack.
  • On July 28, 1989, Israeli commandos kidnapped Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid, the leader of Hezbollah. This action led to the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 638, which condemned all hostage takings by all sides.
  • In 1992, Israeli helicopters attacked a motorcade in southern Lebanon, killing the Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Musawi
    Abbas al-Musawi
    Abbas al-Musawi was an influential Shia cleric and co-founder and Secretary General of Hezbollah. He was killed by Israeli forces in 1992.Al-Musawi was born in the village of al-Nabi Shayth in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon....

    , his wife, son, and four others.
  • On February 12, 2008, Imad Mughnieh was killed by a car bomb in Damascus
    Damascus
    Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

    , Syria.

Foreign relations



Hezbollah has close relations with Iran. It also has ties with the leadership in Syria, specifically with President Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 (until his death in 2000) and his son and successor Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

. Although Hezbollah and Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 are not organizationally linked, Hezbollah provides military training as well as financial and moral support to the Sunni Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 group. Furthermore, Hezbollah is a strong supporter of the ongoing Al-Aqsa Intifada. American and Israeli counter-terrorism officials claim that Hezbollah has (or had) links to Al Qaeda, although Hezbollah's leaders deny these allegations. Also, some al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 leaders, like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

 and Wahhabi clerics, consider Hezbollah to be apostate. But United States intelligence officials speculate
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

 that there has been contact between Hezbollah and low-level al-Qaeda figures who fled Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 for Lebanon.

Public opinion


According to Michel Samaha, Lebanon’s minister of information, Hezbollah is seen as a legitimate resistance organization that has defended its land against an Israeli occupying force and has consistently stood up to the Israeli army.

According to a survey released by the "Beirut Center for Research and Information" on July 26 during the 2006 Lebanon War, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah's "retaliatory attacks on northern Israel", a rise of 29 percentage points from a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, was the level of support for Hezbollah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hezbollah, along with 80 percent of Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 and 89 percent of Sunnis.

In a poll of Lebanese adults taken in 2004, 6% of respondents gave unqualified support to the statement "Hezbollah should be disarmed". 41% reported unqualified disagreement. A poll of Gaza Strip and West Bank residents indicated that 79.6% had "a very good view" of Hezbollah, and most of the remainder had a "good view". Polls of Jordanian adults in December 2005 and June 2006 showed that 63.9% and 63.3%, respectively, considered Hezbollah to be a legitimate resistance organization. In the December 2005 poll, only 6% of Jordanian adults considered Hezbollah to be terrorist.

A July 2006 USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

/Gallup poll found that 83% of the 1,005 Americans polled blamed Hezbollah, at least in part, for the 2006 Lebanon War, compared to 66% who blamed Israel to some degree. Additionally, 76% disapproved of the military action Hezbollah took in Israel, compared to 38% who disapproved of Israel's military action in Lebanon.
A poll in August 2006 by ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 and the Washington Post found that 68% of the 1,002 Americans polled blamed Hezbollah, at least in part, for the civilian casualties in Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon War, compared to 31% who blamed Israel to some degree. Another August 2006 poll by CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 showed that 69% of the 1,047 Americans polled believed that Hezbollah is unfriendly towards, or an enemy of, the United States.

In 2010, a survey of Muslims in Lebanon showed that 94% of Lebanese Shia supported Hezbollah, while 84% of the Sunni Muslims held an unfavorable opinion of the group.

Designation as a terrorist organization or resistance movement


Hezbollah’s status as a legitimate political party, a terrorist group, a resistance movement, or some combination thereof is a contentious issue. Several Western countries
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 officially classify Hezbollah or its external security wing as a terrorist organization, and some of their violent acts have been described as terrorist attacks. Throughout most of the Arab
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 and Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

s, Hezbollah is referred to as a resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

, engaged in national defense. Even within Lebanon, Hezbollah's status is contentious.

In the Western World


Countries below have officially listed Hezbollah in at least some part as a terrorist organization.
 Australia The Hezbollah External Security Organization
 Canada The entire organization Hezbollah
 Israel The entire organization Hezbollah
Hezbollah's military wing only
 United States The entire organization Hezbollah
 Netherlands The entire organization Hezbollah


In 1999, Hezbollah was placed on the US State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. After Hezbollah's condemnation of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA, it was removed from the list, but it was later returned to the list. In 2002, US State Department official Christopher Ross was cited as explaining that while "the Hezbollah party and some of its members carried out terrorist acts in the past", "the acts that it carried out against the Israeli forces in South Lebanon were not terrorist acts."

The European Union does not list Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization"; In addition, on March 10, 2005, the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 passed a non-binding resolution
Non-binding resolution
A non-binding resolution is a written motion adopted by a deliberative body that cannot progress into a law. The substance of the resolution can be anything that can normally be proposed as a motion....

 recognizing "clear evidence" of "terrorist activities by Hezbollah" and urging the EU Council
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

 to brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization and EU governments to place Hezbollah on their terrorist blacklists, as the bloc did with the Palestinian Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 group in 2003. The Council has been reluctant to do this because France, Spain, and Britain fear that such a move would further damage the prospects for Middle East peace talks. In the midst of the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, Russia’s government declined to include Hezbollah in a newly released list of terrorist organizations, with Yuri Sapunov, the head of anti-terrorism for the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, saying that they list only organizations which represent "the greatest threat to the security of our country". Prior to the release of the list, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Borisovich Ivanov is a Russian senior official and statesman. He was Minister of Defence from March 2001 to February 2007, Deputy Prime Minister from November 2005 to February 2007, and the First Deputy Prime Minister from February 2007 to May 2008...

 called "on Hezbollah to stop resorting to any terrorist methods, including attacking neighboring states."

The Quartet’s fourth member, the United Nations, does not maintain such a list, however, the United Nations has made repeated calls for Hezbollah to disarm and accused the group of destabilizing the region and causing harm to Lebanese civilians. Human rights organizations Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 have accused Hezbollah of committing war crimes against Israeli civilians, in which in the same article, they also accused Israel of war crimes but against Lebanese civilians.

Argentine prosecutors hold Hezbollah and their financial supporters in Iran responsible for the 1994 AMIA Bombing of a Jewish cultural center, described by the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 as "the worst terrorist attack on Argentine soil," in which "[e]ighty-five people were killed and more than 200 others injured." During the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin is a French politician, who served as Prime Minister of France from 1997 to 2002.Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for President of France in the elections of 1995 and 2002. He was narrowly defeated in the final runoff election by Jacques Chirac in 1995...

 condemned attacks by Hezbollah fighters on Israeli forces in south Lebanon, saying they were "terrorism" and not acts of resistance. "France condemns Hezbollah's attacks, and all types of terrorist attacks which may be carried out against soldiers, or possibly Israel's civilian population." Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema
Massimo D'Alema
Massimo D'Alema is an Italian politician. He is also a journalist and a former national secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left...

 differentiated the wings of Hezbollah: "Apart from their well-known terrorist activities, they also have political standing and are socially engaged." German officials indicate that they would likely support a designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The Netherlands regard Hezbollah as terrorist discussing it as such in official reports of their general intelligence and security service and in official answers by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the Arab and Muslim World


In 2006 Hezbollah was regarded as a legitimate resistance movement most of the Arab and Muslim worlds. "The indictments for the Hariri killing," the Associated Press reported in August 2011, "damages the group's crossover appeal in the Mideast's sectarian divides." Furthermore, most of the Sunni Arab world sees Hezbollah as an agent of Iranian influence, and therefore, would like to see their power in Lebanon diminished. Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 have condemned Hezbollah's actions, saying that "the Arabs and Muslims can't afford to allow an irresponsible and adventurous organization like Hezbollah to drag the region to war" and calling it "dangerous adventurism,"

Following the 2009 Hezbollah plot in Egypt
2009 Hezbollah plot in Egypt
The 2009 Hezbollah plot in Egypt involves the arrest of 49 men by Egyptian authorities in the five months preceding April 2009. Egypt accuses them of being Hezbollah agents planning attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula...

, Egypt has officially classified Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

During the 2011 Bahraini protests, Bahrain foreign minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bahrain)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Bahraini government ministry which oversees the international relations of Bahrain.- External links :* , ministry's official website...

 Khalid ibn Ahmad Al Khalifah
Khalid ibn Ahmad Al Khalifah
Sheikh Khalid ibn Ahmad Al Khalifa is the Foreign Minister of Bahrain. Sheikh Khaled was appointed in a cabinet reshuffle in September 2005, having previously been the ambassador to the United Kingdom, serving there from 2001....

 labeled Hezbollah a terrorist group and accused them of supporting the protesters.

During the 2011 Syrian uprising
2011 Syrian uprising
The 2011 Syrian uprising is an ongoing internal conflict occurring in Syria. Protests started on 26 January 2011, and escalated into an uprising by 15 March 2011...

 Hezbollah's has voiced support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, which has prompted criticism from anti-government Syrians. As Hezbollah supported other movements in the context of the Arab Spring
Arab Spring
The Arab Spring , otherwise known as the Arab Awakening, is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Saturday, 18 December 2010...

, anti-government Syrians have stated that they feel "betrayed" by a double standard allegedly applied by the movement. When during the summer of 2011 the violence in Syria escalated further, Hezbollah avoided talking about Syria’s uprising.

In Lebanon


Following the 2006 Lebanon war, other Lebanese including the government were resentful of the large damage sustained by the country and saw Hizbullah’s actions as unjustified "dangerous adventurism" rather than legitimate resistance. They accused Hezbollah of acting on behalf of Iran and Syria.
An official of the Future Movement, part of the March 14 Alliance
March 14 Alliance
The March 14 alliance , named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon that call for sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as...

, warned that Hezbollah “has all the characteristics of a terrorist party”, and that Hezbollah is moving Lebanon toward the Iranian Islamic system of government.

In August 2008, Lebanon's cabinet completed a policy statement which recognized "the right of Lebanon's people, army, and resistance to liberate the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, Kafar Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese section of Ghajar village, and defend the country using all legal and possible means."

Gebran Tueni
Gebran Tueni
Gebran Ghassan Tueni was a Lebanese politician and the former editor and publisher of the mass circulation An-Nahar daily newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon....

, a conservative, Orthodox Christian editor of an-Nahar
An-Nahar
An-Nahar , is the leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon.It was first published on August 4, 1933 as a four-page, hand-set paper. The paper provided a platform for various free thinkers to express their views during the years of the Syria occupation of Lebanon. The paper can be best...

, referred to Hezbollah as an "Iranian import and said “they have nothing to do with Arab civilization.” Tuení believed that Hezbollah’s evolution is cosmetic, concealing a sinister long-term strategy to Islamicize Lebanon and lead it into a ruinous war with Israel. “Ask Mr. Nasrallah whether there would be a place for Christians in the Islamic Republic of Lebanon,” he said, “You might remind him that we are not an external force. We’ve been here longer than the Muslims—we are not Afrikaners!"

Tueni was assassinated in 2005.

While Hezbollah has supported popular uprisings in Egypt
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

, Yemen
2011 Yemeni uprising
The 2011 Yemen Uprising followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution and other mass protests in the Middle East in early 2011. In its early phase, protests in Yemen were initially against unemployment, economic conditions and...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 and Tunisia
Tunisian revolution
The Tunisian Revolution is an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia. The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011...

 – Hezbollah publicly sided with Iran and Syria in their own violent repressions of dissent.
2011 Syrian uprising
The 2011 Syrian uprising is an ongoing internal conflict occurring in Syria. Protests started on 26 January 2011, and escalated into an uprising by 15 March 2011...

 In August 2010, 800 people demonstrated in Beirut against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and police were called in to contain the smaller pro-Syrian rallies that followed. Demonstrators were shouting, “Syria wants freedom,” “Anyone who kills his people is a murderer and a coward,” and “the people want an end to the regime.”

Scholarly views


Some American and Israeli academics specializing in a wide variety of the social sciences believe that Hezbollah is an example of an Islamic terrorist organization. The Americans include former U.S. Secretary of State and current political science professor Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

, Lebanese-born terrorism scholar Walid Phares
Walid Phares
Walid Phares an American scholar of Lebanese origins, he is a professor and commentator on global terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs.Phares has testified before committees of the U.S. State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security Departments, the United States Congress, the European Parliament,...

, historian Mark LeVine
Mark LeVine
Mark LeVine is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine. He is also a musician. He received his B.A. in comparative religion and biblical studies from Hunter College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University's Department of Middle Eastern Studies...

, and journalist Donna Rosenthal. Israeli historians that have referred to Hezbollah as an Islamic terrorist organization include Avraham Sela
Avraham Sela
Avraham Sela is a scholar on the Middle East and international relations, currently the A. Ephraim and Shirley Diamond Professor of International Relations and a senior research fellow at the Harry S...

, Robert S. Wistrich
Robert S. Wistrich
‎Robert Solomon Wistrich is the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Wistrich is "a leading scholar of the history of antisemitism."-Early...

, and Eyal Zisser. Iranian scholar Siamak Khatami, Singaporean scholar Rohan Gunaratna
Rohan Gunaratna
Rohan Gunaratna is an international terrorism expert. He is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research ] at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore...

, Australian scholar Neeru Gaba, and Norwegian scholar Tore Bjørgo have all referred to Hezbollah using similar terms.

Views of foreign legislators


J. Gresham Barrett
J. Gresham Barrett
James Gresham Barrett is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2003 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district runs along the Savannah River in the northwestern part of the state....

 brought up legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives which, among other things, referred to Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Congresspersons Tom Lantos
Tom Lantos
Thomas Peter "Tom" Lantos was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until his death, representing the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwest San Francisco...

, Jim Saxton
Jim Saxton
Hugh James "Jim" Saxton is an American Republican Party politician. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented from 1984 to 1993. From 1993 to 2009, he represented .-Life:...

, Thad McCotter
Thad McCotter
Thaddeus George "Thad" McCotter is the U.S. Representative to , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party...

, Chris Shays, Charles Boustany
Charles Boustany
Charles William Boustany, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education, and medical career:...

, Alcee Hastings
Alcee Hastings
Alcee Lamar Hastings is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

, and Robert Wexler
Robert Wexler
Robert Wexler is the president of the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.Wexler was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing , from 1997 until his resignation on January 3, 2010.-Early life:Wexler was born in Queens, New York to Sonny and...

 referred to Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in their speeches supporting the legislation. Shortly before a speech by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, U.S. Congressperson Dennis Hastert
Dennis Hastert
John Dennis "Denny" Hastert was the 59th Speaker of the House serving from 1999 to 2007. He represented as a Republican for twenty years, 1987 to 2007.He is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history...

 said, "He [Maliki] denounces terrorism, and I have to take him at his word. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization."

In 2011, a bipartisan group of American congresspersons introduced the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act. The act ensures that no American aid to Lebanon will enter the hands of Hezbollah. On the day of the act's introduction, Congressman Darrell Issa
Darrell Issa
Darrell Edward Issa is the U.S. Representative for , and previously the 48th, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was formerly a CEO of Directed Electronics, the Vista, California-based manufacturer of automobile security and convenience products...

 said, "Hezbollah is a terrorist group and a cancer on Lebanon. The Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act surgically targets this cancer and will strengthen the position of Lebanese who oppose Hezbollah."

In a Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

 interview during the 2006 Lebanon war, former British MP George Galloway
George Galloway
George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

 said that Hezbollah is: "not a terrorist organization" This view is also held by U.S. Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Darrell Issa
Darrell Issa
Darrell Edward Issa is the U.S. Representative for , and previously the 48th, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was formerly a CEO of Directed Electronics, the Vista, California-based manufacturer of automobile security and convenience products...

.

See also


  • 2008 conflict in Lebanon
    2008 conflict in Lebanon
    The 2008 conflict in Lebanon began on May 7, after Lebanon's 17-month long political crisis spiraled out of control. The fighting was sparked by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecommunication network and remove Beirut Airport's security chief Wafic Shkeir over alleged ties to Hezbollah...

  • Foreign relations of Lebanon
    Foreign relations of Lebanon
    The foreign policy of Lebanon reflects its geographic location, the composition of its population, and its reliance on commerce and trade. Until 2005, Lebanon's foreign policy had been heavily influenced by Syria. The framework for relations was first codified in May 1991, when Lebanon and Syria...

  • History of Lebanon
    History of Lebanon
    This article deals with the history of Lebanon, and the nations previously occupying its territory.-Phoenicia:The coastal plain of Lebanon is the historic home of a string of coastal trading cities of Semitic culture, which the Greeks termed Phoenicia, whose maritime culture flourished there for...

  • History of terrorism
    History of terrorism
    The history of terrorism is a history of well-known and historically significant individuals, entities, and incidents associated, whether rightly or wrongly, with terrorism. Scholars agree that terrorism is a disputed term, and very few of those labelled terrorists describe themselves as such. It...

  • Israeli-Lebanese conflict
  • Jihad Construction
    Jihad Construction
    Jihad Construction is a Lebanese based construction company which is run by Hezbollah.Jihad Construction rebuilds civilian homes and businesses destroyed by Israel in conflicts. It is part of the social services wing of Hezbollah.-External links:**...

  • Politics of Lebanon
    Politics of Lebanon
    Lebanon is a parliamentary republic within the overall framework of confessionalism, a form of consociationalism in which the highest offices are proportionately reserved for representatives from certain religious communities. The constitution grants the people the right to change their government...



Official sites


UN resolutions regarding Hezbollah


Other links

  • Hezbollah: Financing Terror through Criminal Enterprise, Testimony of Matthew Levitt, Hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate
  • Hizbullah's two republics by Mohammed Ben Jelloun, Al-Ahram, February 15–21, 2007
  • Inside Hezbollah, short documentary and extensive information from Frontline/World on PBS.
  • An Open Letter: The Hezbollah Program – five pages excerpted from Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto translated into English. The complete document is 20 printed pages in translation and may be found in Specifically: "Nass al-risala al-maftuha allati wajjaha hizb allah ila al-mustad'afin fi lubnan wa al-'alam [Text of an Open Letter Addressed by Hizballah to the Downtrodden in Lebanon and in the World]", Appendix B, pp. 167–187.
  • Hizbullah – the 'Party of God' – fact file at Ynetnews
    Ynetnews
    Ynetnews is the online English language Israeli news website of Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper, and the Hebrew Israel news portal, Ynet...