The history of Hezbollah: what it is, allies and ideology

Elizabeth Smith

What is Hezbollah? For days now there has been nothing but the utterance of this word, which is associated with one of the most well-known political and paramilitary organizations operating in the Middle East. So let us find out its history and how it is involved in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The history of Hezbollah: what it is, allies and ideology

Hezbollah was born in 1982 (in 1985 de jure) in Lebanon during the Lebanon War, fought precisely against Israel and the South Lebanese Army. Also in the 1980s, Hezbollah, changed its status by also becoming a political organization. Today, in fact, it boasts as many as 13 out of 128 seats in the Lebanese National Assembly.

Hezbollah’s first real leader, known as Secretary General, was Abbas Al-Musawi, who died in 1992. Hezbollah is currently headed by Hassan Nasrallah.

Hezbollah’s political and military ideology is based on anti-Zionism, anti-imperialism and anti-Westernism.

To understand Hezbollah’s role in the current conflict and its political-ideological alliances, it is also necessary to identify the religious branch to which this organization belongs. Indeed, the Lebanese political and military organization follows the religious current of Shiism.

For that reason, therefore, it has found in the Ayatollahs’ Iran both a political and ideological ally. The Iranian government, in fact, turns out to be one of Hezbollah’s main financiers. Support from Tehran has not only been economic.

But also military in nature as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, in the 1980s, lent support to Hezbollah’s cause in Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s other allies also include Assad’s Syria. The Lebanese organization’s military arm has helped the Damascus government remain in power in Syria. In terms of economic support, especially with regard to armaments, Hezbollah can count on Russia, North Korea and China.

Read also: Conflict in the Gaza Strip, who supports Israel and who Hamas? The major funders of the war

Relations with Israel, accusations of terrorism, and role in the ongoing conflict

There has never been good blood between Hezbollah and Israel, but this was also a foregone conclusion given the incompatible premises and characteristics between the Middle Eastern nation and the Lebanese political and military organization.

Discontents with Israel have been going on since Hezbollah’s birth in 1982, as the leadership of the Lebanese organization claims that the various governments in Tel Aviv have always occupied some Lebanese territories.

In the past, Hezbollah claimed South Lebanon, but had to wait until 2000 to see the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

Even today, Hezbollah continues to claim that Israel is occupying other Lebanese territories, particularly the Sheeba farms.

Hezbollah has on several occasions, with its military wing al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, attacked the claimed territories. For these reasons, the European Union, the United States and Israel have labeled Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization.

The conflict between Hezbollah and Israel is still open, and this is worrying the entire international community, which has also decided to look more closely at that organization’s role in the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Indeed, Hezbollah’s military wing has already claimed some attacks against Israel, siding completely explicitly with Hamas.

Entering the war on the side of Hamas in the ongoing conflict has thus opened another front, the northern front, which will engage the Israeli Defense Forces more.

Read also: Who is gaining from the war between Israel and Hamas?

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