Flag of Hezbollah
Logo ofIslamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,
from which Hezbollahs logo is inspired
Billboard in Southern Lebanon depicting Hezbollah martyrs
Hezbollah outpost near the Israeli border.
This small outpost was built after the Israeli withdrawal.
Recruits being sworn in Beirut, November 11, 2001.
The former President of the German intelligence service BND, August Hanning, during the press conference in Beirut, regarding the German negotiated prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah. January 30, 2004 see also Elchanan Tenenbaum.
. Hezbollah (Arabic: Hizbu-llah, meaning Party of God) is a Lebanese Islamist Shiite organization and political party, with a military arm and a civilian arm .
It was founded in 1982 with the declared aim to fight the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon that lasted until 2000.
Hezbollah is currently led by its Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah.
Hezbollah was inspired by the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran  and was formed primarily to combat Israeli occupation following the 1982 Lebanon War. It was formed by the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early eighties to spread Shia revolution. Hezbollah follows a distinct version of Islamic Shia ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Along with the Amal Movement, Hezbollah is the main political party and military organization representing the Shia community, Lebanon's largest religious bloc. It is also a recognized political party in Lebanon, where it has participated in government. The civilian wing participates in the Parliament of Lebanon, taking nearly 11% of the seats (14 out of 128) and the bloc it forms with others, the Resistance and Development Bloc, 27.3% (see Lebanese general election, 2005). It is a minority partner in the current Cabinet.
Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings but also boasts an extensive social development programme. The civilian wing also runs hospitals, news services, and educational facilities. Its Reconstruction Campaign ('Jihad al-Bina') is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructural development projects in Lebanon. The group currently operates at least four hospitals, 12 clinics, 12 schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance programme. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members. Most experts believe that Hezbollah's social and health programmes are worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Hezbollah mainly gets its money from donations. It is widely thought that, Hezbollah receives financial help from Iran and Syria, although Iran denies this, and Hezbollah denies receiving aid from Syria.
Throughout most of the Arab and Muslim worlds, Hezbollah is highly regarded as a legitimate resistance movement. According to a poll released by the "Beirut Center for Research and Information" on 26 July during 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah's fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hezbollah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hezbollah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.
The Lebanese government confirmed it as a legitimate resistance against occupation. 74 percent of Christian Lebanese viewed Hezbollah as a resistance organization. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands and most other Western countries consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization, claiming that the organization initiates attacks against civilians and ideologically supports such attacks by other similar organizations. The European Union does not list Hezbollah as a 'terrorist organization', but does list Imad Mugniyah, who is widely believed to be heading the international branch of the Hezbollah. Israeli intelligence believes that Hezbollah has helped train and equip Palestinian fighting organizations in the West Bank and Gaza.
In a non-binding resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 10 March 2005, The EU Parliament considered that clear evidence exists of terrorist activities by Hezbollah and recommended that 'The EU Council should take all necessary steps to curtail them'. MEPs urged the EU Council to brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization. However, the Council is reluctant to do so, as France, Spain, and Britain fear that such a move would further damage the prospects for Middle East peace talks. Most EU member states however do consider them a terrorist organisation.
Scholars differ as to when Hezbollah came to be a distinct entity. Some organizations list the official formation of the group as early as 1982  whereas Diaz and Newman maintain that Hezbollah remained an amalgamation of various violent Shia extremists until as late as 1985 . Regardless of when the name came into official use, a number of Shia groups were slowly assimilated into the organization, such as Islamic Jihad, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth and the Revolutionary Justice Organization. These designations are considered to be synonymous with Hezbollah by the US, Israel and Canada
Hezbollah's strength was enhanced by the dispatching of one thousand to fifteen hundred members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the financial backing of Iran. It became the main politico-military force among the Shia community in Lebanon and the main arm of what became known later as the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. Hezbollah follows a Shiite Islamist ideology shared by the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, but it has abandoned its goal of establishing a fundamentalist Shiite state in Lebanon. Many people in Hezbollah said many times that they have never had such a target.
After emerging during the civil war of the early 1980s as an Iranian-sponsored second resistance movement (besides Amal) for Lebanon's Shia community, Hezbollah focused on expelling Israeli and Western forces from Lebanon. It is the principal suspect in several notable attacks on United States, French and Italian Multinational forces, whose stated purpose was the stabilization of Lebanon: the suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy, which killed 63, including 17 U.S. citizens; of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut (see 1983 Beirut barracks bombing), which killed 241 U.S. servicemen; and of the French multinational force headquarters which killed 58 French troops. Hezbollah has always denied having any involvement with these bombings, although regarding them as justified. 
Elements of the group have been linked to involvement in kidnapping, detention and interrogation of U.S. and other Western hostages in Lebanon by groups such as Islamic Jihad who claimed the hostage-takings were in retaliation to the detentions, hostage-taking and torture by the Israeli proxy army South Lebanon Army (SLA).
The continued existence of Hezbollah's military wing after 1990 violates the Taif Agreement  that ended the Lebanese civil war, which requires the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias" and requires the government to "deploy the Lebanese army in the border area adjacent to Israel." The Lebanese government did not try to disarm the Hezbollah during the 1990-2000 period, recognizing Hezbollah as a legitimate national resistance force.
South Lebanon was occupied by Israel between 1982 and 2000. Hezbollah, along with the mainly leftist and secular groups in the Lebanese National Resistance Front, fought a guerilla war against Israel and the South Lebanon Army.
The National Resistance Front militias disarmed in accordance with the Taif Accords, but Hezbollah remained defiant, claiming until all Lebanese soil was liberated and Israel expelled, resistance against occupation would continue. The fighting culminated during Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 when Israel launched an assault and air-campaign against Hezbollah. The campaign resulted in the deaths of 106 civilian refugees in an aerial bombardment of a United Nations base at Qana.(Grapes of Wrath operation)
In January 2000, Hezbollah assassinated the commander of the South Lebanon Army's Western Brigade, Colonel Aql Hashem, at his home in the security zone. Hashem had been responsible for day to day operations of the SLA.
On the 24th of May, after the collapse of the SLA and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon, more than six weeks before its stated deadline of 7 July." Hezbollah and many other Lebanese considered this to be a victory, and since then its popularity has been boosted in Lebanon.
Hezbollah's role in the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon gained the organization much respect within Lebanon and the wider Arab and Islamic world, particularly among the country's large Shi'a community. The Shi'a are the single largest religious group in Lebanon, comprising at least 40% of the three million citizens (see Demographics of Lebanon). The Maronite President of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, said: "For us Lebanese, and I can tell you the majority of Lebanese, Hezbollah is a national resistance movement. If it wasn't for them, we couldn't have liberated our land. And because of that, we have big esteem for the Hezbollah movement." Even 74 percent of Lebanese Christians viewed Hezbollah as a resistance organization.
Since Israeli forces left Southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has provided military defense of the area acting as the area's army. Despite no official declaration, the stated policy of the Lebanese Government has supported Hezbollah as the army of South Lebanon. Fouad Siniora said that "the continued presence of Israeli occupation of Lebanese lands in the Chebaa Farms region is what contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons. The international community must help us in (getting) an Israeli withdrawal from Chebaa Farms so we can solve the problem of Hezbollah's arms."  The United Nations considers the Shebaa Farms to be Syrian territory, not Lebanese and has stated that Israel has withdrawn from all Lebanese territory.
Clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces continued, albeit at a relatively low level, in the years following 2000.
On May 25, 2000, Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the UN-agreed Israeli border, and their pullout was certified by the UN as complete. Lebanon and Syria claim the Shebaa Farms, a 35 km² area, to be occupied Lebanese territory despite the UN ruling, and on that basis Hezbollah has continued to engage Israeli forces in that area. The UN recognizes the Shebaa farms as part of the Golan Heights, and thus Syrian (and not Lebanese) territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israeli aircraft continue to fly over Lebanese territory, eliciting condemnation from the ranking UN representative in Lebanon. Hezbollah's retaliatory anti-aircraft fire, doubling as small caliber artillery, has on some occasions landed within Israel's northern border towns, inciting condemnation from the UN Secretary-General. On November 7, 2004, Hezbollah responded to what it described as repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace by flying an Iranian-built unmanned drone aircraft over northern Israel.
Furthermore Hezbollah says Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon proves that the Jewish state only understands the language of resistance. They defend their right to keep their weapons as a deterrent against Israeli attack, to liberate the disputed Shebaa Farms border area, which is occupied by Israel.
Hezbollah abducted three Israel Defense Forces soldiers during an October 2000 attack in Shebaa Farms, and sought to obtain the release of 14 Lebanese prisoners, some of whom had been held since 1978. On January 25, 2004, Hezbollah successfully negotiated an exchange of prisoners with Israel, through German mediators. The prisoner swap was carried out on January 29: 30 Lebanese and Arab prisoners, the remains of 60 Lebanese militants and civilians, 420 Palestinian prisoners, and maps showing Israeli mines in South Lebanon were exchanged for an Israeli businessman and army reserve colonel Elchanan Tenenbaum kidnapped in 2001 and the remains of the three Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers mentioned above, who were killed either during the Hezbollah operation, or in its immediate aftermath. For the entire period between the abduction (October 2000) and the end of the negotiations (January 2004), Hezbollah did not provide information about the death of the 3 kidnapped soldiers (Adi Avitan, Beni Avraham and Umar Suad) even though Israel intelligence has suspected them to be already dead.
On July 19, 2004, a senior Hezbollah official, Ghaleb Awwali, was assassinated in a car bombing in Beirut. Hezbollah blamed Israel; credit was claimed, and then retracted, by a previously unheard of Sunni group called Jund Ash Sham, while Israel denied involvement. According to Al-Arabiya, unidentified Lebanese police also identified the group as a cover for Israel. Israel alleges that Hezbollah had been increasingly involved in training and arming Hamas (see section in this article: Hezbollah activities in the al-Aqsa Intifada.) This claim has been strengthened by Nasrallah's own words. In 2001 Jordan arrested three Hezbollah members attempting to smuggle Katyusha rockets into the West Bank. Nasrallah responded that "it is a duty to send arms to Palestinians from any possible place." After Israel's assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hezbollah attacked the IDF along the Blue Line. Most recently, during Awwali's funeral, Nasrallah proclaimed that Awwali was "among the team that dedicated their lives in the last few years to help their brothers in occupied Palestine," which some take to refer to aiding Hamas. On February 9, 2005 Palestinian Authority officials blamed Hezbollah for attempting to derail the recent truce between Israel and Palestine by offering increased funding and bonuses to the militant cells it operates in Israel for any attack they carry out.
In January 2005, Hezbollah planted five camouflaged "improvised explosive devices" (IEDs), inches on the Israeli side of the border near Zarit, 15 mountainous miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) detected these IEDs and, following procedure, notified UNIFIL. A French UNIFIL engineer duly certified that the devices were indeed IEDs, then "requested" that Hezbollah remove them. Hezbollah, not denying it had planted them, flatly refused, stating that since the mines were (just barely) inside the "Zionist" border, it was up to the "Zionists" to remove them. So the IDF sent in a large armored bulldozer to carry the mines off for disposal. This task required making a sharp 90-degree right turn from an Israeli road onto the narrow border trail where the IEDs were located. Making this sharp right turn, the left front corner of the bulldozer inevitably occupied, for a couple of seconds, about a meter of land on the Lebanese side. During those seconds a Hezbollah fighter directed an anti-tank missile at the narrow, unarmored windshield of the bulldozer. The pinpoint strike, which Israeli sources stated required extraordinary training and skill, killed the bulldozers driver, Sgt. Maj. Jan Rotzanski, a 21-year-old Russian immigrant from Herzliya.
In June 2006, the Lebanese military arrested an alleged assassination squad led by former South Lebanese Army corporal Mahmoud Abu Rafeh. According to army statements, the cell was trained and supported by the Israeli Mossad and "used ... to carry out assigned assassinations in Lebanon." Among the killings attributed to the squad are those of Hezbollah officials Ali Saleh (2003) and Ali Hassan Dib (1999). Since Israel's withdrawl from Lebanon in 2000, and until the conflict arising in July 2006, Hezbollah has used the period of quiet to secretly arm itself with Syrian and Iranian missiles, which it claims number over 10,000. Placing them, according to many reports (including British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Dr. Kim Howells in an interview on CNN July 22 2006), in civilian locations, including family homes, crowded residential neighborhoods and mosques.
In December 2001 three Hezbollah operatives were caught in Jordan while attempting to bring BM-13 Katyusha rockets into the West Bank. Syed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, responded that "It is every freedom loving peoples right and duty against occupation to send arms to Palestinians from any possible place."
During 2002, 2003 and 2004, the Israeli Security Forces thwarted numerous suicide bombing attacks, some of which Israel claims were planned and funded by Hezbollah and were to have been carried out by Tanzim (Fatah's armed wing) activists. Israeli officials accused Hezbollah of aiding Palestinian political violence and participating in weapon smuggling (see also: Santorini, Karin A).
On June 16, 2004, two Palestinian girls aged 14 and 15 were arrested by the Israeli Defense Forces for plotting a suicide bombing. According to an IDF statement, the two minors were recruited by Tanzim activists.
On June 23, 2004, another allegedly Hezbollah-funded suicide bombing attack was foiled by the Israeli security forces.
In February 2005 the Palestinian Authority accused Hezbollah of attempting to derail the truce signed with Israel. Palestinian officials and former militants described how Hezbollah promised an increase in funding for any occupation resistance group able to carry out an attack on Israeli military targets.
Since the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal, Hezbollah has continued fighting the IDF around the disputed 35 km² Shebaa Farms area on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 was a resolution sponsored by France and the United States and adopted on September 2, 2004. It called upon Syria to end its military presence in Lebanon by withdrawing its forces and to cease intervening in internal Lebanese politics. The resolution also called for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias". The Lebanese army did not disarm or disband Hezbollah prior to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
After the assassination of Rafik Hariri in February 2005, Hezbollah strongly supported Syria through demonstrations. On March 8, in response to the demonstrations of the Cedar Revolution which resulted in Syria's withdrawal, Hezbollah organized a counterdemonstration, reiterating Hezbollah's rejection of Resolution 1559 and its support for a Lebanese-Syrian alliance. It later won the greatest number of representatives in its history during the national parliamentary elections of May 2005, and was asked to join the government in July 2005 in the name of national unity. Hezbollah still retains its weapons, and the subject remains extremely controversial in Lebanon.
During the months following Syria's (Hezbollah's main backer) April 2005 withdrawal from Lebanon, international and domestic pressure has mounted on Hezbollah to dismantle its military wing and become solely a political party. On November 21, 2005 Hezbollah launched a heavy attack along the entire border with Israel which was intended to provide tactical cover for a squad of Hezbollah special forces attempting to abduct Israeli troops from the Israeli side of the village of Al-Ghajar. The attack failed when IDF Paratroopers ambushed and killed 4 Hezbollah members and scattered the rest. The IDF counter-attacked and destroyed Hezbollah's front line outposts and communication centers. The scope of the attack forced Lebanon (whose army does not control southern Lebanon) to request a cease-fire. Following the attack the UN Security Council denounced Hezbollah. Commentators have speculated that the attack was an attempt to draw Israel into renewed conflict in Lebanon, alleviating diplomatic pressure on its backers Syria (which is under investigation for the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri) and Iran (which is under UN investigation regarding violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).
On December 27, 2005, BM-21 Grad rockets fired from Hezbollah territory smashed into houses in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona wounding three people. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the Lebanese Government "to extend its control over all its territory, to exert its monopoly on the use of force, and to put an end to all such attacks." Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denounced the attack as "aimed at destabilizing security and diverting attention from efforts exerted to solve the internal issues prevailing in the country." Hezbollah denied any responsibility or knowledge that an attack was going to take place.
After the 2005 elections, Hezbollah held 23 seats (up from eight previously) in the 128-member Lebanese Parliament. It also participated for the first time in the Lebanese government that was formed in July 2005. Hezbollah has two ministers in the government, and a third is Hezbollah-endorsed. It is primarily active in the Bekaa Valley, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and southern Lebanon.
In spite of having a foot inside the government, Hezbollah has been frequently at odds with certain members of Fouad Siniora's cabinet and in early 2006 formed an alliance with Michel Aoun (a former critic of both Hezbollah and Syria) and the Free Patriotic Movement. This new Shiite-Christian alliance aims at creating a new majority outside the 14 March forces and is likely to provide the basis for Aoun's presidency when Emile Lahoud's term expires in 2007.
The United States and Israel claim that Hezbollah receives financial and political assistance, as well as weapons and training, from Iran and Syria. Syria and Iran admit moral support for Hezbollah, but deny supplying it with weapons. The U.S. Treasury Department has also accused Hezbollah of raising funds by counterfeiting U.S. currency.
Hezbollah claims to raise most of its money from donations. "It's no secret that Hezbollah receives financial help from Iran, but not from Syria," said Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Nabulsi.
Hezbollah is an active participant in the political life and processes of Lebanon (much in the same way as Hamas in Palestinian communities). In 1992, it participated in Lebanese elections for the first time, winning 12 out of 128 seats in parliament. It won 10 seats in 1996, and 8 in 2000. In the general election of 2005, it won 14 seats nationwide, and an Amal-Hezbollah alliance won all 23 seats in Southern Lebanon.
Mohamed Fneish was appointed Energy and Water Minister in the cabinet and has been quoted as saying "We are a political force that took part in the polls under the banner of defending the resistance and protecting Lebanon and got among the highest level of popular backing ... Hezbollahs resistance (against Israel) does not in any way contradict its political role. If joining the government and parliament is a national duty, then so is defending the country."
Hezbollah provides many social services in Lebanon. According to CNN:
"Hezbollah did everything that a government should do, from collecting the garbage to running hospitals and repairing schools."
In 1996 Hezbollah declared in "The Electoral Program of Hizbullah" that it would want to improve educational and health system. Then on May 2006 as UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published: "Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings - it also boasts an extensive social development programme. The group currently operates at least four hospitals, 12 clinics, 12 schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance programme. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members."
Now Hezbollah social service agencies provide health care and schooling for poor farmers.  Even during the war with Israel during July 2006 when there is no running water in Beirut, Hezbollah is arranging supplies all around the city. "People here [in South Beirut] see Hezbollah as a political movement and a social service provider as much as it is a militia that delivers the goods for its followers, in this traditionally poor and dispossessed Shiite community."
Hezbollah claims that it forbids its fighters entry into Iraq for any reason, and that no Hezbollah units or individual fighters have entered Iraq to support any Iraqi faction fighting the United States. However, on April 2, 2004, Muqtada al-Sadr announced his intention to form chapters of Hezbollah and Hamas in Iraq. He is not known to have consulted Hezbollah or Hamas before making this statement.
It is widely believed that Hafez al-Assad and Hezbollah were closely linked; this did not significantly affect his relations with the rest of the world. Bashar al-Assad, his son and successor, has been subjected to sanctions by the U.S. due to (among other things, such as occupying Lebanon) his continued support for Hezbollah, which it views as a terrorist organization. However, on March 3, 2005, United States President George W. Bush and his administration stated that it would consider Hezbollah legitimate if it disarmed, but also said that this did not represent a change in their view of the organization, which is unlikely to do so.
Those who consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization consider its sponsors (in particular Iran, Syria, and Lebanon) to stand in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1566. Further, UN Security Council Resolution 1559 calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias." Israel has lodged continual complaints about Hezbollah's actions. Israel has bombed several Syrian targets in retaliation for terrorist and guerrilla attacks by Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah that Israel claims were sponsored by Syria. An Israeli official said that those attacks are a "message to Syria to stop sponsoring terrorism."
The United States and Israel claim that Hezbollah receives financial and political assistance, as well as weapons and training, from Iran and Syria. Syria and Iran admit supporting Hezbollah, but deny supplying it with weapons.
The organization views an Islamic republic, on the Iranian model, as the ideal and eventual form of state. However, as their conception of an Islamic republic requires the consent of the people, and since Lebanon remains a religiously and ideologically heterogeneous society (see Demographics of Lebanon), their political platform revolves around more mundane issues. According to their published political platform in 2003, Hezbollah favors the introduction of an Islamic government in Lebanon by peaceful democratic means.
Hezbollah supports the destruction of the state of Israeland has co-operated with other militant Islamic organizations such as Hamas in order to promote this goal.
Hezbollah's ideology is based in the Shi'a tradition of Islam, specifically in the concept of "Willayat Al-Faqih" put forth by Ayatollah Khomeini and other Islamic scholars in Iran. Hezbollah seeks to set up an Islamic government in Lebanon modeled after the one in Iran. The following excerpt is taken from the group's political platform, first published in 1985: "The solution to Lebanon's problems is the establishment of an Islamic republic as only this type of regime can secure justice and equality for all of Lebanon's citizens." The Hizballah organization views as an important goal the fight against 'western imperialism' and its eradication from Lebanon. The group strives for complete U.S. and French withdrawal from Lebanon, including all their institutions.
Hezbollah operates a satellite television station from Lebanon, Al-Manar TV ("the Lighthouse") as well as a radio station, al-Nour ("the light"). Qubth Ut Alla ("The Fist of God") is the monthly magazine of Hezbollah's paramilitary wing.
Al Manar broadcasts news in Arabic, English, French and Hebrew and is widely watched both in Lebanon and in other Arab countries. Its transmission in France (even via satellite, not by any station based on French territory) is controversial. It has been accused of promoting religious and racial hatred (against Jews), which is a criminal offense in France. On December 13, 2004, the French Conseil d'État, acting on the request of the French TV authorities, issued an injunction to Eutelsat to cease the broadcasting of Al Manar in France.
The Hezbollah Central Internet Bureau in 2003 released a video game titled Special Force, intended to simulate Arab-Israeli conflicts from an Arab perspective.
Armed wing, links to other armed groups
Hezbollah has a military branch known as Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya ("The Islamic Resistance"), and is the possible sponsor of a number of lesser-known militant organizations, some of which may be little more than fronts for Hezbollah itself. These organizations include the Organization of the Oppressed, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, the Organization of Right Against Wrong, and Followers of the Prophet Muhammad.
The goverment of Lebanon has accepted Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya as an arm against occupation of Lebanese land. The P.M. of Lebanon said that "the continued presence of Israeli occupation of Lebanese lands in the Chebaa Farms region is what contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons. The international community must help us in (getting) an Israeli withdrawal from Chebaa Farms so we can solve the problem of Hezbollah's arms."
The United Nations has called for the disbanding of Hezbollah's military wing in UN Security Council Resolution 1559.
Its strength is disputed, and has been variously estimated as "several thousand"  and "several thousand supporters and a few hundred terrorist operatives."
The military wing of Hizbollah is considered to be the most capable non-state armed group in the Middle East. Any Hizbullah member receiving military training, has probably recieved it from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). The increasingly sophisticated methods used by Hizbollah members indicates that they are trained using Israeli and US military manuals; the emphasis of this training is on the tactics of attrition, mobility, intelligence gathering and night-time manoeuvres .
Reportedly, Hezbollah has three units charged with intelligence operations. One unit is responsible for intelligence activities against Israel, primarily by recruiting and running agents in order to gather information about Israeli military bases and other potential targets. It is claimed that this unit also gathers information on behalf of Iran , and is also known to conduct SIGINT operations against IDF communications.
Unit 1800 is responsible for recruiting and operating Palestinian cells inside the Occupied Territories, primarily for attacks against Israel.
Preventive Security is the organization's internal security formation, and is responsible for counter-intelligence and communication security, as well as operating its prisons and interrogation centers.
Allegations of links to Al-Qaeda
It's claimed by U.S. that Hezbollah has links to Al-Qaeda . After September 11, 2001 Hezbollah's alleged links with al-Qaeda came under more scrutiny. U.S. intelligence officials have stated they believe there has been contact between Hezbollah and low-level al-Qaeda figures who fled Afghanistan for Lebanon. Many have even suggested a broader alliance between Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Such claims are dubious however since Al-Qaeda's Wahhabist ideology considers Shia muslims as infidels, which it has demonstrated in suicide bombings and attacks on Shia targets in Iraq. Hezbollah has publicly denied having any ties with al-Qaeda, and many sources have reported no connection between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda.  Zarqawi issued an audio recording where he called the Hezbollah an "enemy of Sunnis" and a "shield" for Israel, for protecting Israel by preventing Palestinian attacks from Lebanon.
CNNAyman al-Zawahirim Al Qaeda's deputy leader has made new statments as of recent supporting Hezbollah in it's efforts to elimiante Israel from the region.
Designation as terrorist organization
Six countries have designated part or all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, a label vehemently disputed by some other countries.
Allegations of specific terrorist attacks
Hezbollah is believed by the United States and some other countries' intelligence agencies to have kidnapped and tortured to death U.S. Marine Colonel William R. Higgins and the CIA Station Chief in Beirut, William Francis Buckley,  and to have kidnapped around 30 other Westerners between 1982 and 1992, including U.S. journalist Terry Anderson, British journalist John McCarthy, the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy Terry Waite and Irish citizen Brian Keenan. Hezbollah was accused by the US government of being responsible for the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63; of being behind the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, a suicide truck bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines in their barracks in Beirut in October 1983; of bombing the replacement U.S. Embassy in East Beirut on September 20, 1984, killing 20 Lebanese and two U.S. soldiers; and of carrying out the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome. These accusations are denied by Hezbollah.
It is claimed that Hezbollah had a hand in the terrorist attacks in Argentina in 1992 and 1994: the Israeli Embassy Attack in Buenos Aires and the AMIA Bombing, respectively. Hezbollah denies these claims.
On July 26, 1994, Eight days after the AMIA bombing, the Israeli Embassy in London was car bombed by two Palestinians. United Kingdom, Israel and Argentina blamed Hezbollah for the attack.
Hezbollah has denounced some acts of terror, such as the September 11 attacks, GIA massacres in Algeria, Armed Islamic Group attacks on tourists in Egypt, and the murder of Nick Berg.  However, it expresses support and sympathy for the activities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Islamist groups responsible for suicide attacks and armed resistance in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Entities designating Hezbollah as terrorist
Hezbollah has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Israel, and Australia.
The United Kingdom and Netherlands do not consider Hezbollah itself to be a terrorist group, but they list the Hezballah External Security Organisation (ESO) as terrorist. The UK states:
Hizballah External Security Organisation: Hizballah is committed to armed resistance to the state of Israel itself and aims to liberate all Palestinian territories and Jerusalem from Israeli occupation. It maintains a terrorist wing, the External Security Organisation (ESO), to help it achieve this.
In 2003, the Netherlands officially supported listing the ESO as a terrorist organization. In 2004 the Dutch internal security agency AIVD, concluded:
"Investigations have shown that Hezbollahs militant wing, the Hezbollah External Security Organization, has been directly and indirectly involved in terrorist acts. It can also be concluded that Hezbollahs political and terrorist wings are controlled by one coordinating council. This means that there is indeed a link between these parts of the organization. The Netherlands has changed its policy and no longer makes a distinction between the political and terrorist Hezbollah branches. The Netherlands informed the relevant EU bodies of its findings.
The United States based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
The European Union
The European Union does not list Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization", but does list Imad Mugniyah, Hezbollah's senior Intelligence officer, as a terrorist. The EU also supports measures aimed at ending Hezbollah's "terrorist activities".
After the above non-binding resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 10 March 2005, MEPs from the PPE-DE, IND/DEM, and l'UEN parties also urged the EU Council to brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization, but this was not included in the resolution and EU nations have not placed the group on its terrorist list. The EU has, however, agreed to block Hezbollah's Al-Manar television from European satellites in order to enforce European regulations against "incitement to racial and/or religious hatred."
Rebuttals of terrorist designation
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has vehemently said that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization.
Hezbollah is regarded by the Iranian and Syriangovernments as a legitimate resistance, a view common in the Arab and Muslim world,
The Lebanese government confirmed it as a legitimate resistance against occupation.
Regarding the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Edward Peck. Former U.S. Chief of Mission in Iraq and ambassador to Mauritania expressed the following opnion, "In 1985, when I was the Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism, they asked us -- this is a Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism; I was the Deputy Director of the working group -- they asked us to come up with a definition of terrorism that could be used throughout the government. We produced about six, and each and every case, they were rejected, because careful reading would indicate that our own country had been involved in some of those activities. [. . .] After the task force concluded its work, Congress got into it, and you can google into U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2331, and read the U.S. definition of terrorism. And one of them in here says -- one of the terms, "internationnal terrorism," means "activities that," I quote, "appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping." [. . .] Yes, well, certainly, you can think of a number of countries that have been involvedin such activities. Ours is one of them. Israel is another. And so, the terrorist, of course, is in the eye of the beholder." 
Statements by Hezbollah
"The Jews invented the legend of the Nazi atrocities...Anyone who reads the Koran and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions sees what they did to the prophets, and what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history... Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment."
Hassan Nasrallah, April 9, 2000. 
"If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them world wide."
Hassan Nasrallah, October 22, 2002. 
"Let us stop this nonsense, as Muslims and Christians, we should continue to cooperate and unite in order to reject the offense to our prophets and our holy belongings."
Hassan Nasrallah, July 16, 2006. 
"It is unacceptable, it is forbidden, to harm the innocent. If there are American tourists, or intellectuals, doctors, or professors who have nothing to do with this war, they are innocent, even though they are Americans, and it is forbidden. It is not acceptable to harm them."
Hassan Nasrallah, July 16, 2006. 
"The truth is let me say this clearly we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us...."
Mahmoud Komati, Deputy Chief of Hezbollah's political arm, Hamza Hendawi, "Israel Hits Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut, SAN FRANCISCO GATE, July 26, 2006. 
Mahmout Komati said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel to the July 12 cross-border raid, in which three Israelis were killed. Scheherezade Faramarzi, "Hezbollah Says Israeli Response a Surprise", YAHOO! NEWS, July 25, 2006  (AP Story).
Hassan Nasrallah said in February 2006 that, "The only possible strategy is for you [referring to Hezbollah]to have Israeli prisoners, soldiers, the soldiers as prisoners, and then you negotiate with the Israelis in order to have your prisoners released. Here, this is the only choice. Here, you don't have multiple choices in order for you to choose one of them. You have no multiple choices. You have two options, either to have these prisoners or detainees remain in Israeli prisons or to capture Israeli soldiers." "NATIONAL EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah Talks With Former US Diplomats on Israel, Prisoners and Hezbollahs Founding", Domocracy Now, Friday, July 28th, 2006
History of Lebanon
Foreign relations of Lebanon
Politics of Lebanon
List of the UN resolutions concerning Israel and Palestine
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah
Banu Amela tribe
The stress is on the final syllable. Other transliterations include Hizbullah, Hizbollah and Hezballah, Hizballah, Hisbollah, Hizb Allah, (used by Al Jazeera). 'Hizb' (party) is the Modern Standard Arabic pronunciation, and 'Hezb' is closer to Persian and to Lebanese dialect. The name is derived from a Qur'anic ayat (verse) referring to those who belong to and follow the 'Party of God'.
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McClathy Newspapers July 15th, 2006
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Hezbollah's Role in Lebanon's Government, NPR
Globalcomment.com - Mohammed Zahid
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations & European Neighbourhood Policy - European Union
URGING THE EUROPEAN UNION TO ADD HEZBOLLAH TO THE EUROPEAN UNIONS WIDERANGING LIST OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS]", U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
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2000: Hezbollah celebrates Israeli retreat. BBC News (2000-05-26). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
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UN Press Release 18 June 2000: SECURITY COUNCIL ENDORSES SECRETARY-GENERALS CONCLUSION ON ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON AS OF 16 JUNE
BBC News - In Focus: Shebaa farms May 25th, 2000
Secreterary-General Office of the UN August 10th, 2003
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Turkish Daily News - Hizbollah attacks widens cracks in Lebanon July 16th, 2006
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Nicholas Blanford - Hizballah and Syria's Lebanese Card September 14th, 2004
Nicholas Blanford - Sticking to the rules in South Lebanon July 23rd, 2004
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"Lebanon: Israeli spying cell busted", Xinhua, 2006-06-13. Retrieved on 2006-07-20.
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IDF arrested 2 minor girls who attempted to carry out a suicide bombing. Israel Defense Forces (2004-06-17). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Coming out party for Hezbollah in Lebanon. NBC News (2005-03-08). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Amos Harel (2005-11-22). 11 Israelis injured, at least 4 Hezbollah gunmen killed in failed kidnap attempt. Haaretz.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Eli Ashkenazi (2005-11-03). I'm not the hero of the day. Haaretz.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Security Council calls for respect of entire Lebanon-Israel Blue Line. U.N News Centre (2005-11-23). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Al-Ghajar Village Flashpoint].
Defense Update (2005-12-05). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Annan deplores rocket attack from Lebanon into Israel. U.N News Centre (2005-12-28). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
It's official: Aoun and Hezbollah are allies. Ya Libnan (2006-02-07). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2006-04-28). Country Reports on Terrorism: State Sponsors of Terror Overview. Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
Asia Times, July 20, 2006 Hezbollah's transformation
US Treasury Department, June 10, 2004 Treasury Designates Islamic Extremist, Two Companies Supporting Hizballah in Tri-Border Area Accessed 2006-07-26
Gulf Times (Reuters) Hezbollah seeks talks over arms
JoMarie Fecci, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: Despite End of Lebanons Long Civil War, Low-Level Conflict Continues Around Israeli-Occupied Zone'
CNN, July 25, 2006Hezbollah's secret weapon Accessed 2006-07-25
Al Mashriq The Electoral Program of Hizbullah, 1996 Accessed 2006-07-25
LEBANON: The many hands and faces of Hezbollah. IRIN News (2006-03-29). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Washington Post, July 22, 2006 History repeats itself in new conflict? Not quite Accessed 2006-07-25
CNN, July 25, 2006Hezbollah's secret weapon Accessed 2006-07-25
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Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2006-04-28). Country Reports on Terrorism: State Sponsors of Terror Overview. Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
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"Hezballah: Violence mixed with social mission", CNN, 2006-06-13. Retrieved on 2006-06-15.
The Brunswickan Online. "Hizbollah promises Israel a blood-filled new year, Iran calls for Israel's end".
full text of the decision
press release (in French)
US Department of State Background Information on Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hizbullah
Canada Gazette, v 137, no 1
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Country Reports on Terrorism, 2004. U.S Department of State (2005-04-01). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Janes World Insurgency and Terrorism Group Profile: Hizbullah Accessed July 28, 2006
Melman, Yassi (2006-07-21). The Prying Game. Haaretz.
The Al-Qaida-Hizballah Connection. Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (2006-02-26). Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
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Mike Boettcher, Henry Schuster. "New terror alliance suspected in Iraq", CNN World News, 2003-08-13. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Eggen, Dan, "9/11 Panel Links Al Qaeda, Iran", Washington Post, 2004-06-26. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Mir, Hamid, "Al Quaeda and the Iranian connection", Rediff.com, 2004-07-16. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Al Jazeera. "Al-Zarqawi declares war on Iraqi Shia", 2005-09-14. Retrieved on 2006-07-26. (written in English)
People's Daily (China). "Lebanon's Hezbollah Denies Link with Al-Qaeda", 2002-07-01. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Janes World Insurgency and Terrorism.Group Profile: Hizbullah Accessed July 28, 2006
Saint Petersburg Times: Associated Press. "Hezbollah, al-Qaida mirror tension between Shiites, Sunnis", Saint Petersburg Times, 2006-06-25. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Mirror by ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=2114525
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BBC News. "'Zarqawi tape' urges Sunni unrest", 2006-06-02. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
Al Jazeera "Hizbollah has no known links to Al-Qaida"
101st CONGRESS 1st Session H. CON. RES. 190 Expressing the sense of the Congress over the reported murder of Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins and Hezbollah-sponsored terrorism. Accessed 2006-07-26
Sites, Kevin (Scripps Howard News Services). "Hezbollah denies terrorist ties, increases role in government" 2006-01-15
United States Department of State, April 2005.
Rex A. Hudson, The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism, 1999.
Hezbollah again denies involvement in deadly Buenos Aires bombing BEIRUT, March 19 (AFP)
Hezbollah website, citing BBC 2005-11-11 Hizbullah denies Argentina bomb Accessed July 26, 2006
"On this day", BBC News, 1994-07-26. Retrieved on 2006-07-26. (written in English)
Hezbollah's condemnation of murder of civilians in Egypt and Algeria is described in Saad-Ghorayeb, p. 101.
Usher, Sebastian, "Muted Arab reaction to Berg beheading", BBC News. Retrieved on 2006-07-27.
The Brunswickan Online. "Hizbollah promises Israel a blood-filled new year, Iran calls for Israel's end".
Appendix B: Background Information on Terrorist Groups. U.S Department of State (2000-04-30). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). United States Department of State (2005-10-11). Retrieved on 2006-07-16. "Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations . . . 14. Hizballah (Party of God)".
Reference list. Office of the SUperintendent of Financial Institutions Canada. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Listed entities pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism Act (2001, c. 41). Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC), Government of Canada. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
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De Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken. Beantwoording toezegging inzake de positie van Hezbollah (in Dutch).
AIVD Annual Report 2004. The Netherlands ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
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"European parliament calls for putting an end to Hizbullah terrorist acts", ArabicNews.com, 2005-03-11. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
"EU lawmakers label Hizbollah 'terrorist group", www.isn.ethz.ch, 2005-03-11. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
European Union (2005-03-10). DÉBAT DU JOUR - Jeudi, Strasbourg (in French).
Ahmadinejad: Palestinian movement motivated by Lebanese Hezbollah. P.I.R.I News Archive (2006-01-20). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Kate Seelye (04-01-2005). Hariri's assassination has united some sects and divided others.. PBS. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
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Hamas, Hezbollah Legitimate for Jordanians. Angus Reid Global Scan (2006-07-14). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
Bregman, Ahron (2002). Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415287162
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Amal Saad-Ghorayeb (2001) Hizbullah: Politics and Religion. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 0745317936
Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh (2004) In The Path Of Hizbullah. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0815630530
Hala Jaber (1997) Hezbollah. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231108346
Amal Saad-Ghorayeb (2002) Hizbu'llah: Politics and Religion. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 0745317928
Judith Palmer Harik (2004) Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism. I.B Tauris. ISBN 1860648932
Naim Qassem (2005) Hizbullah: The Story from Within. Saqi Books. ISBN 0863565174
Magnus Ranstorp (1996) Hizb'Allah in Lebanon: The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312164912
Jamal Sankari (2005) Fadlallah: The Making of a Radical Shi'ite Leader. Saqi Books. ISBN 0863565964
Tom Diaz, Barbara Newman (2005) Lightning Out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil. Presidio Press. ISBN 0345475682
Avi Jorisch (2004) Beacon of Hatred: Inside Hizballahs Al-Manar Television. Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ISBN 0944029884
External links, resources, and references
Moqawama Hezbollah's Official Website
UN resolutions regarding Lebanon
UN Press Release SC/8181 UN, September 2, 2004
Lebanon: Close Security Council vote backs free elections, urges foreign troop pullout UN, September 2, 2004
UN vote due on Syria resolution BBC, September 2, 2004
US draft resolution at UN demands respect for Lebanon's sovereignty AFP, September 2, 2004
Wikisource:UN Security Council Resolution 1391
Wikisource:UN Security Council Resolution 1496
Wikisource:UN Security Council Resolution 1559
Wikisource:UN Security Council Resolution 1583
United States Department of State
Background Information on Foreign Terrorist Organizations, released by the Office of Counterterrorism, October 8, 1999.
The Hizbollah Program, originally February 16, 1985
The Sound of War Massoud Derhally, Arabian Business, 23 July 2006
Who are Hezbollah?
UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Hizbollah At Crossroads : From the Will of God to the Will of His People
Lebanese Security and Hezbollah, Report by Anthony Cordesman at CSIS.
Open Directory Project - Hizballah directory category
Yahoo - Hezbollah directory category
Hezbollah: Lebanon, Islamists, Council on Foreign Relations
Hezbollah in Profile, Parliament of Australia (PDF version)
The Electoral Program of Hezbullah, 1996
Nass al-Risala al-Maftuha allati wajahaha Hizballah ila-l-Mustad'afin fi Lubnan wa-l-Alam Abridged translation of the official Hezbollah Program, declared in 1985" (on Israeli website).
Rotten.com article on Hezbollah
A Shia View of the Middle East Conflict
Inside Hezbollah, short documentary and extensive information from Frontline/World on PBS.
Radical Islam in Latin America Chris Zambelis, December 2, 2005
The Moral Logic of Hizbullah by Martin Kramer.
Hizbullah: The Calculus of Jihad by Martin Kramer.
In Search of Hezbollah, by Adam Shatz New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004
Hezbollah in the Firing Line. Middle East Report, April 28, 2003
Who are Hezbollah?, BBC News Online
Hizbollah: Rebel without a cause?. Middle East Briefing N°7 by the International Crisis Group, 30 July 2003
Timeline of Hezbollah Violence, by CAMERA.org
Who Attacked Israel? , What is Hezbollah? , What Caused this War? , Understanding the US position , The Arab reaction, and what it means and Who is killing Lebanese civilians? Historical and Investigative Research
July 24, 2006