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Hezbollah, which in Arabic means "Party of God," is best known as a terrorist organization operating in Lebanon, although Hezbollah itself and many Muslims would dispute the description "terrorist." Islamist and Shia in religious ideology,[1] Hezbollah is also known as Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth and Revolutionary Justice Organization. It was formed in 1982, after the 1982 Israeli operations in Lebanon. The name is also spelled (or transliterated) Hezbollah, Hizballah, Hizbollah, Hizbullah, and several other ways.

It is an organization that both allegedly conducts terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere,[2] and also operates a shadow government in parts of Lebanon.[3] It is certainly on friendly terms with the State of Iran, although it is not definitely under Iranian control; it also receives support from Syria. Imad Mugniyah, who was believed killed by Israel, may have been the intermediary between Hezbollah and Iran; he was certainly a senior member of Hezbollah, possibly their military commander at the time of his death.

Territorial control

Israel's 2006 Israeli campaign in Lebanon was in response to rocket attacks on Israel; the military operation did not displace Hezbollah as a de facto government in certain areas. Daniel Byman, of the Brookings Institution, described it, in May 2008, as the most powerful political movement in Lebanon. [4] Serious discussions of dealing with Lebanon have to consider this organization as part of the process; the United States Security Council passed Resolution 1701 to put a peace operations force into place after Israel withdrew. [5]

Attacks by Hezbollah

The organization has been charged with responsibility for incidents inside and outside of Lebanon, including

Human Rights Watch considers its continuing rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas to be war crimes. [7]

Attacks on Hezbollah

The largest operation against it was the 2006 Israeli campaign in Lebanon; it put up unexpectedly competent resistance, enough to be discussed in the war colleges of the world.[8]

Imad Mugniyah was described as a high-ranking bomber and operative by CIA officer Robert Baer. The Jerusalem Post said he was the military commander of all Hizbullah forces, both in Lebanon and overseas. It is generally assumed assassinated by Mossad; there are reports that Hezbollah considered retaliatory assassination of the Israeli equivalent, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, LTG Gabi Ashkenazi.[9]