Hezbollah is a militant Lebanese Shiite organization and political party, advocating for the creation of an Islamic state in Lebanon modeled on Iran. At the core of the ideology the views of Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, lie. It is recognized as a terrorist organization by the EU, Canada, USA, Israel and Egypt, the Gulf states, and partly in Australia and the UK. The organization was created in 1982 in Baalbek by a part of the Lebanese Shiite for armed struggle against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Iran has sent to Lebanon about 1,500 guards of the Islamic revolution has supported Hezbollah. The organization has received financial support and weapons from Iran and Syria and, in turn, acted as an ally of Syria in Lebanon. Hezbollah is committed to the formation of an Islamic republic modeled on Iran in Lebanon. In its manifesto in 1985, the organization announced its three main objectives: the expulsion of all colonial institutions of Lebanon, to establish an Islamic regime in the country, and to bring the Phalangists to justice for their crimes. Its original rigid ideological stance somewhat softened over time, and in the political platform of the organization in 2003 stressed that calls for the establishment of Islamic rule through peaceful democratic means. A significant place in the politics of Hezbollah paid to social issues. Hezbollah has different versatility of its activities – in addition to the military activity, it is involved in the lawmaking Parliament of Lebanon, assisting the Lebanese population in education and health care. In regard to the Middle East problem, the movement supports the slogan of the destruction of the State of Israel.
Hezbollah emerged in the tense atmosphere of conflicts, such as the inter-Lebanese and Israeli-Palestinian. Unlike other fundamentalist organizations, she never put the main practical to replace the secular state in the country an Islamic republic. This prevented the presence of a large Christian community and traditional antipathy between Shiites and Sunnis. Hezbollah leaders have made jihad against Israelis as usurpers of Muslim lands a priority. Also, unlike another fundamentalist movement Hezbollah in the region after becoming a mainstream political party has actively sought reconciliation and cooperation with the Lebanese authorities, to integrate into the social and political life of the country. The main goal of Hezbollah activity in the 1980s and 1990s was the expulsion from Lebanon of Israeli and Western military forces (Levitt M., 2013). Created by her armed forces of the Islamic Resistance is widely resorted to the tactics of guerrilla warfare and terrorist attacks. Suicide bombers, who were allegedly linked to Hezbollah, a series of attacks on Lebanon is located in the American, French and Italian soldiers. Bombings in October 1983 in the barracks of American and French troops (241 killed US Marine infantryman and 58 French soldiers) are attributed to them. After 7 months, the US withdrew its troops from Lebanon (Levitt M., 2013). A similar attack was carried out in September 1984 at the US Embassy in Beirut (24 people are killed, many people are injured). It is believed that Hezbollah was also behind the kidnapping of 30 citizens of Western countries in Lebanon in 1982-1992 on behalf of the “Islamic Jihad.” In addition, members of Hezbollah is suspected of seizing aircraft (including the US plane flying from Athens to Rome in 1985), of the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992 (killing 29 people) and the Jewish cultural center in this country in 1994 (killed 95 humans) (Hudson R.A., 1999). The organization itself has denied any involvement in all of these acts. During the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, Hezbollah waged an intensive guerrilla war against the forces of the Israeli army and its allied South Lebanon Army. These actions have become one of the major factors that prompted Israel to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in May 2000. The armed struggle against foreign military presence has strengthened the authority of Hezbollah in a country where many consider its organization of national Lebanese resistance. Despite the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory, Hezbollah believes that the occupation has not stopped since Israel occupies the Shebaa area, which until 1967 was part of the Syrian Golan Heights. Its militants repeatedly fired rockets into northern Israel, which, in turn, led to an attack by the Israeli air force. In January 2004, Hezbollah and Israel agreed to exchange prisoners (420 Palestinians, 60 Lebanese, and other Arabs were exchanged for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers who were killed in 2000 in the farmlands, and 2 Israelis kidnapped in 2001) (“Mid-East Prisoners Welcomed Home”, 2004). Since 2008, Hezbollah has taken an active role in the terrorist attacks against Israel at the behest of Iran. The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is not limited to the problems of Lebanon. Organization Shiites accused of supporting, training, and arming Palestinian terrorists of Hamas and Tanzim. In 2005, the Palestinian leadership has criticized Hezbollah for trying to disrupt the peace agreement with Israel.
In today’s Lebanon, Hezbollah operates as a political organization. Her civilian branch has its own hospitals, hospitals, children’s homes, orphanages, Al-Manar television station, radio station Al-Nour and prints. It enjoys considerable influence in the Shiite areas of the country, from 1992 participated in the parliamentary elections. The joint list of Hezbollah and another Shiite party, Amal, was in 2005 in elections to the Lebanese parliament all 23 seats from the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon. On the political scene, he acted as an ally of Syria, in 2005, held a demonstration against the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, carried out as a result of the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions. The organization is headed by the Supreme Advisory Council of 12 religious, political, and military leaders; in the case of disagreement, the matter is referred to the decision of the highest spiritual authorities in Tehran. There is also a local advisory board in every region of Lebanon. At the head of Hezbollah its founder, Sheikh Sayyed Muhammad Hassan Fadlallah, was until 1985, however, after the attempt on his Israeli intelligence, he left all the posts, leaving only a spiritual leader. His successor, Abbas Moussawi was killed in 1992. Currently, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah takes the post of Secretary-General of Hezbollah (Levitt M., 2013). His deputy Ghaleb Awali was killed in 2004 in Beirut by the explosion, in the conduct of which the organization’s leadership has accused Israeli agents.
In the Arab, Muslim, and some European countries, Hezbollah is seen as a legitimate political party by Lebanese Shiites. The US Government, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Israel, as well as the European Parliament, refer it to terrorist organizations. However, in 2005 the US administration has declared that it is ready to recognize the legitimacy of Hezbollah in the case of disarmament. Currently, the Party of God operates not only in his native Lebanon but practically all over the world. From Bekaa guerrilla tentacles stretched in South America (Argentina, Venezuela), North America (Canada, US) Western Europe (UK, France, Belgium, Germany), Africa (Egypt), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia). Cells Hezbollah abroad strictly conspired and operate independently of each other so that no one group knows anything about the other. As a rule, members of the cell are well aware of the country where the secret activities, own local language, and integrate into society without arousing the suspicions of the authorities. In 2011, there were reports that Hezbollah creates a support base on the island of Cuba.
In 2016 the Council of Ministers of the League of Arab States decided almost unanimously to accept Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The fact that Hezbollah is an influential political force in Lebanon, where Shiites constitute a significant part of the population adds to the situation of particular importance. The presence of armed groups in the Shiite party Hezbollah promotes the growth of tensions between religious groups of Lebanese society. This is due to the fact that these armed groups are not only used in order to conduct military operations on the return of the lost territories of southern Lebanon against Israel but also as a means of pressure in the domestic political struggle. Opponents of Hezbollah party movement “Al – Mustaqbal” (Sunni), Progressive Socialist Party (Druze), the Christian Maronite party “Kataib” and “Lebanese Forces”, insisting that only the state has the right to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It follows that all the self-acting armed groups should cease to exist. Naturally, the presence of a segment having an armed force makes it difficult to achieve a consensus within the multi bulk of society. In addition, it is known that Hezbollah receives substantial material and moral support from Iran. Tehran has used the Shiite formation as a bulwark in the struggle against Israel. Of course, Syria and Iran are interested in the preservation of the legal position in the combat units of Hezbollah. This leads to the fact that the internal conflict is exacerbated by an external factor.
In 2016, the current leader of the organization, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, denied rumors that Hezbollah is going to leave Syria and stressed that the role of supporting Hezbollah and the organization will be there, where there should be, together with the Syrians. Hezbollah was involved in preventing the collapse of Syria and its falling into the hands of LIH and al-Nusra. Its entry into Syria has been fully coordinated and agreed with the Syrian leadership. At the moment, the organization is not going to get out of Syria. The leader said that the organization believes in a military solution, and wants to stop the bloodshed through constructive negotiations with the opposition. Sayyed Hassan reduced the likelihood of an Israeli attack against the background of the use of the Syrian situation and called numerous strategic objectives that can be hit with precision rockets Hezbollah resistance forces in the event of another Israeli aggression, and added that he does not think that the Israelis are so stupid as to commit aggression against Lebanon currently. Among the potential targets are numerous Israeli nuclear reactors and the storage of nuclear warheads that can be targeted for the defeat of Hezbollah rockets.
- “Mid-East Prisoners Welcomed Home”. (2004). BBC News. Retrieved from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3442719.stm.
- Hudson, R.A. (1999). The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism. The Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved from: http://fas.org/irp/threat/frd.html. Levitt, M. (2013). The Origins of Hezbollah. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/10/the-origins-f-hezbollah/28089.