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What Is Hezbollah? Know All About The Dreaded Lebanese Terrorist Organisation Backing Hamas In War With Israel

Hezbollah, meaning "Party of God," is a Shia armed and political group founded in 1982, backed by Iran. It emerged to resist Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon and has since evolved into a potent force with a significant political presence in Lebanon. Labelled a "terrorist organization" by some nations, it shares a common goal of armed resistance against Israel with Hamas.

Tel Aviv: The recent flare-up of violence in the Middle East, especially in the northern border of Israel with Lebanon, has intensified concerns of a larger-scale conflict. Hezbollah, a potent armed group based in Lebanon, has shown solidarity with Palestinians by firing artillery and rockets. This Lebanese faction is considered a "terrorist" organization by US-allied Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, backing Hamas and deeming the recent Hamas attack a robust response to Israel's continued presence.

Hezbollah: What It Means?

 

Hezbollah, literally translating to "Party of God," is a Shia armed and political group established in 1982. It was a response to Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon and emerged from armed groups supported by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps post the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Boasting substantial support among Shia Muslims, it stands as a significant adversary to Israel, known for its precision rockets and a formidable fighting force.

Hezbollah Army And Its Arsenal 

 

In 2021, leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed Hezbollah had 100,000 fighters. The group boasts precision rockets and says it can hit all parts of Israel. Hezbollah also regularly puts on display heavy and light arms, including anti-aircraft weapons and rocket launchers as well as rocket-propelled grenades. As per various international reports, the group now has an arsenal that some say rivals that of the national army, justifying this by emphasising its role of "resistance" against the Israeli enemy. The Shiite militant group is the only Lebanese faction that kept its weapons after the end of the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

A 'Terrorist' Organisation

 

Hezbollah is labelled a "terrorist organization" by the United States and several Western nations, along with US-allied Gulf states and Saudi Arabia. However, the European Union distinguishes its military wing as a "terrorist group" while excluding its political wing from this designation. The contrasting perspectives underline the complex role Hezbollah plays, both militarily and politically.

What Is The Main Goal Of Hezbollah?

 

Hezbollah's core objective revolves around defeating Israel and expelling Western colonialist entities from the Middle East. Their sustained campaigns against Israeli forces in Lebanon and attacks on Israeli civilians in other nations underscore their commitment to this goal. They pride themselves on prompting Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, establishing a significant ideological victory.

Influence, Role In Lebanon's Politics

 

Hezbollah has a notable presence in Lebanon's political scene, with ministers in the government and lawmakers in parliament. Despite opposition accusing them of driving Lebanon into conflict, the group's political prominence increased following Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. Hezbollah's continued sway in Lebanese politics remains evident, despite electoral shifts.

Who Funds Hezbollah?

 

Iran's substantial financial support, estimated in the hundreds of millions annually, plays a critical role in sustaining Hezbollah. Under the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah since 1992, the group holds a significant position in Lebanon's sectarian political system, commanding support among the Shia population, effectively functioning as "a state within a state."

Hezbollah Vs Hamas

 

Hezbollah and Hamas, while distinct entities share a common objective of armed resistance against Israel. While Hezbollah is a Lebanese organization, Hamas originated in Palestine and gained control over the Gaza Strip following electoral victories in 2006. Their recent collaboration and statements affirm solidarity against Israel's occupation and opposition to Arab countries normalizing ties with Israel.

Two-Front War 

 

The recent events have raised concerns of a broader conflict, potentially involving Lebanon if Hezbollah takes a more active role. Analysts speculate on the possibility of a two-front war, dragging Lebanon into the crisis. Hezbollah's actions and responses in the coming days will significantly influence the course of events, underscoring the need for careful diplomacy to maintain regional stability.