Hezbollah (Arabic: حزب الله, meaning Party of God) is an Islamic political party and paramilitary organization in Lebanon. It was formed in Lebanon in 1982, during the Lebanese Civil War. The leader of Hezbollah is currently Hassan Nasrallah.
|Parliament of Lebanon|
|See List of official sites.|
Hezbollah's main goals during the Civil War were to fight against Western influences and create an Islamic state in Lebanon. Its members are Shia Muslims, which are the largest Islamic denomination in Lebanon. It is also supports Arab nationalism. It wants freedom for the Palestinian people in Palestine. Because of this, it believes that the State of Israel should not exist, and fights against it. Over the years, the Hezbollah militia has fought a guerrilla war against the Israeli Army along the border in southern Lebanon. It often attacks Israel's military positions by firing rockets across Israel's northern border.
To destroy Hezbollah bases, Israel has responded in different ways; for example, air strikes on sites in Lebanon and sending ground troops into Southern Lebanon. In 2000, Israel withdrew its troops from the "security zone" in Southern Lebanon, but not from a sliver of land called Shebba Farms. This fertile area was kept under Israeli occupation. The border stayed relatively quiet until July 2006, except for targeted assassinations and kidnappings by Israel. In July, Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers. This led to the 2006 Lebanon War, in which Hezbollah rockets reached deep into Israel.
A few governments consider Hezbollah a terrorist group. The majority do not. Among those who consider it to be a terrorist group are the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and Israel. The European Union and the United Kingdom consider Hezbollah's military branch to be a terrorist group, but not the political party. Lebanon considers Hezbollah to be a legitimate resistance movement. This view is shared by Syria, Iran and all other countries in the Arab world.Russia considers Hezbollah as a legitimate sociopolitical organization while China remains neutral, and maintains contacts with Hezbollah. Other countries that do not consider Hezbollah a terror organization includes Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and others.
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Hezbollah's anti-Western militancy began with attacks against Western targets in Lebanon, then expanded to attacks abroad intended to exact revenge for actions threatening its or Iran's interests, or to press foreign governments to release captured operatives.
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