Hezbollah

Hezbollah is a radical Shiite militant group based in Lebanon, headed by Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, that has been waging a guerilla campaign against Israel since the 1980s. The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, Canada, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Its military wing is designated by the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union. One of Hezbollah's key goals is the elimination of the State of Israel and the group has found itself in regular conflict with Israel since 1982, including during the First Lebanon War and the 2006 Lebanon War. The First Lebanon War, otherwise known as the South Lebanon conflict, started in 1985 and ended with Israeli withdrawal in 2000. 559 Israeli soldiers were killed and 840 wounded during the conflict and more than 1,200 Hezbollah militants were killed and approximately 1,000 wounded. The 2006 Lebanon War began on 12 July 2006 when Hezbollah militants launched a cross-border attack on Israeli troops, killing three and kidnapping two IDF soldiers. The five-week conflict saw 121 IDF soldiers killed and 1,244 wounded. 44 Israeli civilians were killed during the war as a result of Hezbollah rocket and mortar fire. Israel claims that between 600 and 800 Hezbollah militants were killed during the conflict, in addition to at least 1,000 Lebanese and foreign civilians. The remains of the two seized Israeli soldiers, whose fates were unknown, were returned to Israel as part of a prisoner exchange in July 2008. Hezbollah has also planned and carried out major terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens and infrastructure outside of Israel. In 2012, five Israeli citizens were killed in a bus bombing attack in Burgas, Bulgaria. More recently, Hezbollah has played a key role in the Syrian Civil War alongside the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, committing thousands of fighters to operations led by the Syrian army. Its role in the Syrian Civil War has increased sectarian tensions in Lebanon, with members being targeted by Sunni militants in the country. Hezbollah has close relations with Iran, often being described as an Iranian proxy group. Reports suggest that Hezbollah has been the recipient of Iranian weaponry, including missiles capable of striking many of Israel’s key population centers. Thousands of Hezbollah’s militants have undergone training in Iran on a variety of warfare types. Hezbollah also receives considerable financial and political support from Iran. Some estimate that Iran receives approximately $200 million in Iranian aid annually. It is believed that Hezbollah widely fundraises and money launders through global drug networks to finance its operations. The group is one of two main parties politically representing Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim community, alongside the Amal Movement, in the Parliament of Lebanon. Hezbollah currently holds 14 of the 128 seats in the parliament, forming part of the Resistance and Development Bloc. Parliamentary elections are set to take place in May 2018. The group's manifesto since inception has preached for the elimination of the State of Israel. The organization is responsible, among other things, for the 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Argentina, the 2012 Burgas bus bombing against Israeli citizens, and for the kidnapping of several Israeli soldiers.

A HEZBOLLAH supporter beams at a poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a rally on the a
US blacklists Lebanon-based companies, individual linked to Hezbollah

The action freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

By REUTERS
17/09/2020
Lebanon's Hezbollah accuses US of obstructing government formation

Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim movement backed by Iran that Washington deems a terrorist group, is one of the parties at the heart of a dispute that has complicated the process.

By REUTERS
17/09/2020
Hezbollah, Iranian Quds Force recruit east Jerusalem woman

Yasmin Jabar, resident of Jerusalem's Old City, works at the National Library. The Shin Bet said that she was recruited by Iran's Quds Force.

France’s Macron gambles on Lebanon cabinet formation

In this light France also plays a role as the former colonial power, helping to direct operations against extremists across the Sahel and also playing a role in Lebanon.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the scene of the explosion at Beirut Port, August 2020
Pompeo says Hezbollah weapons risk torpedoing French efforts in Lebanon

But unlike Washington, which deems the heavily armed and politically powerful movement a terrorist group, Paris says its elected arm has a legitimate political role.

By REUTERS
15/09/2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visiting Sudan, 2020.
US: Serbia to designate Hezbollah entirely as a terror organization

This is "another significant step limiting this Iranian backed terrorist group’s ability to operate in Europe."

The Hezbollah flag
Lebanon's Hezbollah condemns Bahrain move to normalize Israel ties

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to normalize relations with Israel on Friday, a move forged partly through shared fears of Iran.

By REUTERS
12/09/2020
Explosive material found in Beirut Port was stored for years - president

He also said the army inspected 143 containers at the port that he said were found to hold other flammable material.

By REUTERS
11/09/2020
US blacklists ex-Lebanese ministers over Hezbollah ties, vows more action

"The United States stands with the people of Lebanon in their calls for reform and will continue to use its authorities to target those who oppress and exploit them," he added.

By REUTERS
08/09/2020
Hezbollah stored explosive material from 2016 in Germany, says minister

Last month, a devastating explosion rocked Beirut Port, killing 191 people and injuring more than 6,000.

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