The history of Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is an Islamic militant group and also doubles as a political organization that operates in Lebanon. The group has multiple transliterations including; Hizballah and Hezbollah. The literal meaning of the Hezbollah is “Party of Allah” or rather “Party of God” it has many operating names which include; Islamic Jihad, organization for the oppressed on earth and the Islamic Resistance. Essentially the group is a paramilitary wing classified as a resistance movement in much of Arabic and Islamic nations. The United States of America, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel consider Hezbollah to be a terror group (Heidi Hayes, 2005).
The Hezbollah formation was a brainchild of Muslim clerics in Iran. It was founded in the Iranian country after Israel invaded Lebanon. It was officially formed on 1985. Lebanon gained political independence in 1943 after the French army withdrew its troops from the country (Heidi Hayes, 2005). Lebanon had 17 recognized sectarian communities the Shia being one of them. The Lebanese national pact set out procedures of national governance. The National pact of Lebanon stipulated that political privileges such as parliament membership and appointment to senior and bureaucratic and political positions be effected to the 17 sectarian communities based on proportionate size of each community (Samer, 2012).
The Shia community received the speakership of the parliament being the third largest sectarian community after the maronites and Sunnis. The Shia society however remained marginalized socially, politically and economically .the Shia society became noticeable in the 1960s and 70s after Imam Musa Sadr became a leading Shiite figure in the Tyra city (Augustus, 2009). Imam Musa played a vital role in fighting for the rights of the Shiite community. He formed various pacts with different persons and groups in a bid to attain equality for the oppressed Shiite society.
The Shia society began exploding and gained recognition in the 1960s and 70s (Ghorayeb, 2002). This was closely followed by the formation of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council. The council main obligation was to amplify the say of the Shia community in government and overturn the status quo whereby the Shiites literary had no say in the Lebanese government. Imam Musa was appointed to head the council in 1969. He advocated without fear for change in the Lebanon government in favour of the Shiite society. Under the watch of Imam Musa Sadr numerous social utilities like clinics and schools were established throughout southern Lebanon (Alaga, 2011).
The group rose through ranks to steal scenes in the Lebanon politics. Having started with only a small population, it has grown into an organization that has seats in the Lebanese government. The organization today is termed as a state within a state (Ghorayeb, 2002). It maintains huge and strong support especially from the Shia community. The movement is always in position to mobilize huge demonstrations of hundreds of thousands in a bid to attain a given obligation. For instance in the year 2006 the Hizballah in conjunction with other groups began the 2006-2008 Lebanese political protests. Other groups began the 2006-2008 Lebanese political protests which were in opposition of the then government prime minister.
The movement currently boasts hundreds of thousands supporters in and out of Lebanon. They enjoy this strong support in Syria, Iran and many Arabian countries. According to an analyst in anonymity, the total force including part-time men who are known as saraya exceeds fifty thousand men (Hayes, 2005).
On its formation the Hezbollah movement had some goals to achieve. Its main goal was to offer resistance to the Israel occupation of Lebanon. Its other goal was to eliminate marginalization of the Shia community. Their goals were listed in their manifesto and have evolved with time and situations. In their 1985 manifesto they had listed four main goals that they would strive to achieve (Alaga, 2011).
Their chief goal was to liberate Lebanon from Israel. Israel had invaded Lebanon in 1978 in an operation it termed as “operation Litani”. The invasion was carried out by the Israel defense forces in response to the coastal land massacre. The operation resulted in deaths of thousands and displacement of hundreds of thousands Lebanese citizens (Augustus, 2009). The Hezbollah was much opposed to the wrongful occupation of Lebanon by Israeli forces which resulted in massive losses.
The second goal of the Hezbollah was to eliminate imperialism in Lebanon. The movement was much opposed to the phalangists whose mission was to just rule. They were not only opposed to their rule but also wanted to make bring the imperialistic phalangists to trial and make them pay dearly for their committed crimes. The Hezbollah movement also had in mind giving all people an equal chance to have a say in the government making without compromising the Islamic rule (Samer, 2012). The Hezbollah had massive callings for destruction of the Israeli state which they referred to as a Zionist entity. The greatest agitation of the Hezbollah was the Israeli’s forceful invasion of Lebanon.
The Operation method of the Hezbollah.
Hezbollah operates as a liberation movement. Its operations however are in total secrecy. Its aim was to liberate Lebanon from Israeli attacks and ensure its sovereignty. Its founders were inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini who was an Iranian religious leader and a politician (Hayes, 2005). Their initial forces were trained by a contingent of Iranian revolutionary guards. The organization receives substantial financial and philosophical support from Iran Syria and worldwide fundraising operation. The United States of America accuses the hezbollian movement of counterfeiting to raise funds.
The Islamic movement operates various social development programs. It own and runs social services such as schools, hospitals and agricultural services that are beneficial to thousands of Lebanese Shiites. The organization also runs a satellite television station called Al-manar satellite television and a radio broadcast station (Ghorayeb, 2002).
The group after formation and with its aim in mind had to form a military wing to ensure achievement of its goals. It runs military training camps in Bekaa valley and in other parts of Lebanon (Hayes, 2005)). They often carry out terroristic activities against their enemies such as the United States of America. Their terror acts include bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and use of guerilla warfare. In 1983 Hezbollah allegedly blew a van that was filled with explosives. The hezbollian forces also work outside Lebanon in parts of Europe, America and East Asia. They acquire sophisticated weapons such as short and long range rockets, anti-tank anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons. All these weapons are used in and out of Lebanese soil to protect their interests.
Hezbollah also operates as a political group. It has a political head Hassan Nasrallah. The group has a huge influence in the Lebanese politics. It was given veto powers in the Lebanese parliament and controls eleven out of the thirty cabinet seats. With veto powers and with Iranian support they literary runs Lebanon.
The primary target of Hezbollah.
The Hezbollah movement has targets which. The militia group was primarily established to counter the forces royal to Israeli trying to occupy Lebanon (Samer, 2012). With time the group has evolved into a terror group that can’t tolerate any nation or organization that is against their ideologies. On their list of aggressors is the Israeli nation, Jewish people, the United States of America, the pro-western Arab states, the west and their internal enemies in Lebanon.
This movement has been used by their main sponsor, Iran to carry out terrorist attacks on various targets mainly their enemies. Therefore the group can be regarded to as the unit that spearheads Iran’s foreign terrorism (Ghoyareb, 2012). Their current target is Israeli’s diplomatic missions abroad and also Israeli foreign tourists in various tourist destinations. This militia group through its operative have attempted bombing of Israeli’s ambassadorial residences in countries such as Turkey and Bulgaria. They have also carried out attacks targeting the United States. According to intelligence reports, the Iranian linked terror group has all it requires to launch an attack against the United States of America.
They also carry out retaliatory attacks especially on nation which interfere with their jihadist “holy” war. On killing of their senior commander Imad Mughniyeh, of which they believe that the leader was executed by forces royal to Israeli, this terror movement has waged a strong revenge mission against Israeli. Their current leader Nasrallah openly spoke of dangerous retaliatory plans against any Israeli war strike. “Hezbollah is prepared for a comprehensive war against Israel and will respond to any with a surprise to any military strike” (Hayes, 2012). The Hezbollah has a special unit force that carries out overseas attacks on embassies and various tourist destinations. They also target eliminating leaders of opposing sides, on several occasions this terror group has attempted assassinations of leaders such as the Lebanese prime minister who was killed in the year 2005.
The movement has various groups with which it works in conjunction to facilitate smooth running of its activities. These groups facilitate each other’s realization of goals. They are mostly terror groups or Islamic movements which strongly support jihadist wars or have other interests (Samer, 2012).
Hezbollah has had close and strong ties with Iran which is its main partner. Iran funds their activities and offer moral support to them. Their militants are trained by Iranian forces and they also supply them with lethal weapons. Hezbollah is also in good terms with Syria since the era of the late Hafez Al-Assad until his demise in the year 2000 and the good relationship has been on the move even after Bashar Al-Assad took over leadership of Syria (Augustus, 2009).
In their own country Lebanon, the terror movement it has ties with other movements such as the Jhabat Al-Nusra which is a sunnist group which is affiliated to the Palestinian cause (Samer, 2012). Outside the Middle East the Hezbollah is believed to have affiliates in Latin America. The movement is also linked to the Al-Qaeda terror group although little evidence exists to support this claim. Shiite communities in Lebanon also support this movement as in its formation it had a goal of fighting for their rights.
The group receives massive support from individuals mainly business persons who finance its operations. Arabian business men who operate businesses all over Middle East channel funds to Hezbollah’s activities.
Hezbollah assignments and contributions.
Since its formation thirty years ago this terrorist group has had many assignments and contributions some of which have positive impacts and some negative. This militant group believes that God fights alongside them. They have triumphed in battles and have made numerous achievements according to their targets.
In their quest to liberate Lebanon from Israeli invasion, Hezbollah has continuously over decades engaged Israel in winning battles. The resistance offered to Israeli defense forces has resulted to their withdrawal from Lebanese soil. The Hezbollah is recognized in the Middle East as an anti-Israeli champion (samer,2012). The movement has a strong military base which keeps its enemies at bay. Its application of guerilla tactics strengthens its attacks or counter attacks. Their secrecy is also an advantage that accrues to them in battles especially in battles where they fight against force that undermines their capability. Hezbollah’s main contribution to the Assad’s war is military expertise.
One of their four main goals during formation was to eliminate imperialism and ensure equality of communities especially the Shia community. The movement strived hard to overturn the status quo in Lebanon whereby marginalized communities like sheer rose to higher ranks. The Hezbollah was also given veto power in the parliament and dominated in the cabinet (Alaga, 2011).
Hayes, H. 2005. History of our world. Newjersy : prentice hall .
Alaga, E. 2011. Hezbollah’s documents. Amsterdam: Amsterdam university press.
Samer, S. 2012. Islamic politics in Middle East. London: Routledge press.
Augustus, N. 2009. Hezbollah: A short history. Newjersy : Princeton University Press.
Ghorayeb, S. 2002. Politics and religion. London: Pluto press.