A radical Shi'a group formed in 1983, it is also known as the Party of God, as well as by several other names, including Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary Justice Organization, and Organization of the Oppressed on Earth. Sponsored, funded, trained, and inspired by Iran, Hezbollah is ideologically committed to the destruction of Israel and the United States and the elimination of all Western influences from the Islamic Middle East. Its military wing, the Islamic Resistance (al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya) is directly or indirectly linked to the deaths of hundreds of Americans and other Western soldiers in terrorist suicide bombings in Lebanon in the 1980s. It kidnapped and murdered U.S. Marine colonel William R. Higgins and the CIA station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, and kidnapped around 30 other Westerners in Lebanon between 1982 and 1992. Internationally, Hezbollah was responsible for the bombings of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March 1992 and Buenos Aires' AMIA Jewish community center in July 1994.
   Hezbollah's founding secretary general, Abbas al-Mussawi, was killed by Israel on 16 February 1992. Since 1992, the Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council), Hezbollah's highest governing body, has been led by Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah's leading intellectual figure and spiritual guide is Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent Beirut-based Shiite cleric with strong ties to revolutionary Iran.
   In the 1980s and 1990s, Hezbollah engaged in a terrorist war of attrition against Israel's presence in Lebanon. Following the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) redeployment in 1985, this war of attrition primarily focused on IDF soldiers in the south Lebanon security zone as well as members of the Israel-backed South Lebanese Army. Hezbollah also periodically launched Katyusha rockets on Israeli population centers in the northern Galilee region. In April 1986, Israel launched Operation Grapes of Wrath to push Hezbollah's Katyushas out of firing range and to pressure the Lebanese government to impose its central authority over the area north of the border region where Hezbollah was operating with impunity.
   On 24 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from the security zone to the internationally recognized border with Lebanon. The pull-out was certified by the United Nations (UN) as complete and in full accordance with Israel's obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 425. Hezbollah rejected this on the pretext that the Sheba (Sheba'a) Farms belongs to Lebanon. The UN has determined that the Sheba (Sheba'a) Farms was historically part of the Golan Heights and is thus subject to Syrian-Israeli rather than Lebanese-Israeli negotiations. In order to retain its legitimacy as a Lebanese "national liberation movement," it was necessary for Hezbollah to reject this determination, especially after Israel's May 2000 redeployment from the security zone denied Hezbollah its raison d'etre.
   On 7 October 2000, Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the internationally recognized border with Israel and kidnapped three IDF soldiers from their posts at Sheba (Sheba'a) Farms. The remains of the three soldiers were returned, along with a kidnapped Israeli civilian, in a January 2004 prisoner exchange with Hezbollah. Hezbollah continued to launch periodic attacks against the Israeli military post at Sheba (Sheba'a) Farms and fire missiles at population centers in northern Israel from bases in southern Lebanon. Despite its ties to Syria, Hezbollah won seats in Lebanon's parliament in elections held in the spring of 2005 and became part of the new coalition government.
   On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah attacked IDF positions on Israel's side of the internationally recognized border, killing 8 Israeli soldiers and taking 2 others hostage. Hezbollah simultaneously fired waves of Katyusha rockets on population centers in northern Israel, including Haifa. Hezbollah's attacks prompted an aggressive military response from Israel, code-named Operation Changing Direction. While it was able to launch long-range missiles that fell deep inside Israel and could claim a "victory" by withstanding the overwhelming IDF air and ground assault on southern Lebanon, Hezbollah emerged from the Second Lebanon War (2006) severely weakened.
   Much of its command and communication structure had been destroyed, along with most of its weapons depots and missile launchers. Its fighters no longer controlled the border region with Israel, having been displaced by the Lebanese army backed by the UN peacekeeping force—UN Interim Force in Lebanon—operating under a strengthened mandate provided by UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (14 August 2006). Efforts to uphold the resolution's embargo on arms shipments from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah and other Lebanese militias made it highly unlikely that Hezbollah would be able to constitute the military threat to Israelis that it had prior to the war.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hezbollah — (le) (en ar. hizb Allâh, parti de Dieu ) organisation chiite, pro iranienne, créée en 1982 au Liban. Après le désarmement des milices, en 1991, ses partisans se sont regroupés dans le Sud, où ils mènent des opérations contre l occupation… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hezbollah — extremist Shiite group active in Lebanon, founded c.1982, from Pers. hezbollah, Arabic hizbullah, lit. Party of God, from hezb/hizb party + allah God. An adherent is a Hezbollahi. The name of various Islamic groups in modern times, the name… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hezbollah — [hez΄bə lä′, hez bä′lə] n. [Pers or Ar, lit., Party of God] a militant fundamentalist Shiite organization based in Lebanon …   English World dictionary

  • Hezbollah — For other uses, see Hezbollah (disambiguation). Hezbollah …   Wikipedia

  • Hezbollah — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hizbullah (Indonésie) et Hezbollah turc. Hezbollah حزب الله‬ Chef du Parti …   Wikipédia en Français

  • hezbollah — Arabic. /khes bah lah /, n. a radical Shi ite Muslim organization in Lebanon engaged in guerrilla warfare against Israel. Also, Hizballah. [ < Ar: lit., Party of God] * * * or Ḥizbullāh or Ḥizb Allāh (Arabic; Party of God ) Lebanese Shīʽite… …   Universalium

  • Hezbollah — Flagge der Hisbollah mit Schriftzug ( Wahrlich, die Partei Gottes ist die siegende Partei. Der islamische Widerstand im Libanon ) und Kalaschnikow. Das Logo der Hisbollah ist an dem der Iranischen Revolutionsgarde angelehnt und wurde im Iran… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hezbollah — (ḥizb Allāh, partido de Dios) ► Organización islámica libanesa, fundada en 1982 con el apoyo de militantes chiitas iraníes agrupados en el movimiento iraní llamado también Hezbollah. Luchó contra la ocupación de una parte del S de Líbano por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • hezbollah — hez·bol·lah s.m.inv. ES ar. {{wmetafile0}} TS polit., relig. spec. al pl., estremista islamico politicamente vicino all Iran {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1987. ETIMO: ar. volg. hezbollāh, var. di hizbu ?llāh, propr. partito di Dio …   Dizionario italiano

  • hezbollah —  n. et adj. Membre du Hezbollah, organisation islamiste libanaise …   Le dictionnaire des mots absents des autres dictionnaires

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