Hezbollah is a name that often appears in the media, especially in regards to Israel and its relations to Iran Lebanon. The relationship between the two are a primary topic when it comes to Middle East relations, which can be complicated, and so the IDF has come out with a list easily breaking down the question, "What or who exactly is Hezbollah?"
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 3, 2020
Here's everything you need to know about Hezbollah. It's time to share the truth: pic.twitter.com/o7zlTxCoaR
1) First and foremost, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization
Hezbollah is a radical Shiite militant group based in Lebanon, that has been waging a guerrilla campaign against Israel since the 1980s, funded and guided by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
"Hezbollah" in Arabic translates to "Party of God" in English.
2) Who leads Hezbollah?
The terror organization is led by Hassan Nasrallah, who has been the secretary-general of Hezbollah since 1992. Nasrallah has constantly been open about his objective to attack and destroy Israel, and often attacks Israel in his speeches that he addresses to his followers and the nation of Lebanon.
However, while the Nasrallah leads Hezbollah in Lebanon, it is the Iranian leadership under the rule of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that funds and guides Hezbollah's policy and activity.
3) How is Hezbollah armed, and what danger does the organization pose?
Hezbollah currently has an arsenal of over 130,000 rockets and missiles, and receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year from Iran to spend on arms for its terror activity.
Iran has long attempted to arm Hezbollah with precision guided missile technology, which would make Hezbollah the first terror group in the world to possess such advanced weaponry.
4) Where are these weapons stored?
Hezbollah deliberately stores its weapons in civilian structures in order to use humans as shields, a violation of international law.
A July report by the ALMA Research and Education Center found that the group has at least 28 missile launching sites, command and control infrastructure, missile assembly sites, rocket fuel storage sites and missile bunkers next to high schools, clinics, hospitals, golf clubs and soccer fields as well as the Iranian Embassy and the Lebanese Ministry of Defense.
Weapons are also stored in southern Lebanese towns close to the border with Israel.
5) How has Hezbollah attacked Israel in the past?
Hezbollah has been responsible for thousands of attacks in Israel.
Attacks occurred as recently as August 25 where Hezbollah attempted to fire shots toward IDF soldiers. On July 27, the organization attempted an armed infiltration, and previously on September 1, 2019, militants fired anti-tank missiles.
More predominantly however, are the attacks that occurred on Israel's northern border in 2006 in which Hezbollah was responsible for the deaths of three Israeli soldiers, and the abduction of two others, sparking the second Lebanon War, which consequently caused the death of both many more soldiers and civilians.
Twelve years later, in 2018, the IDF exposed and neutralized underground attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah in order to infiltrate Israel from Lebanon.
Hezbollah intended to use the tunnels to infiltrate Israel from Lebanon. On the Lebanese side, the tunnels were at least some 200 feet deep (60 meters), and on the Israeli side were some 250 feet deep (76 meters).
6) What terror attacks has Hezbollah carried out in the rest of the world?
Hezbollah has been responsible for violent terror attacks across the globe, both killing and injuring hundreds of people, spanning from Bulgaria, Buenos Aires, London and Paris.
The earliest attack dates back as early as 1983, when the organization struck the US embassy in Beirut, killing 63. The latest global incident occurred in 2015 when Hezbollah hid 2 tons of ammonium nitrate, the same substance that caused the 2020 Beirut blast, in four separate locations in London. The Lebanese terrorist group also stored hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate in southern Germany, which were uncovered earlier this year.
The organization, is responsible for many more attacks around the globe, including simultaneous suicide bombings in French and US bases in Beirut in 1983 killing a total of 241 US personal and 58 French soldiers; the hijacking of a TWA Flight 847 in 1985, the brutal murder of a US soldier, and a 17 day long hostage crisis involving 19 passengers.
Additionally, Hezbollah was responsible for the string of orchestrated bombings on targets in Paris, including the famous Champs -Eylsees, and a failed attempt on the Eiffel tower. During the incident hundreds were injured.
7) Which countries besides from Israel recognize it as a terror organization?
Hezbollah is recognized as a terror organization in its entirety by many countries and international organizations, including: The United States; The United Kingdom; The Arab League; Germany; Argentina; Paraguay; Israel; Canada; Colombia; Japan; The Netherlands; Bahrain; Lithuania and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
However, some countries and organizations only recognize Hezbollah's "military" wing as a terror group, despite that Hezbollah itself does not make this distinction.
In 2012, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said, "We do not have a military wing and a political wing, we have nothing but the resistance as a priority."
8) What can be done?As Hezbollah is a dangerous entity to Lebanon, Israel and the would, the IDF advises the international community to condemn, sanction and disarm Hezbollah.
9/— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 3, 2020