With the ceasfire set to go into effect in just a few hours, we understand that many people still do not fully comprehend who and what Hezbollah is. We hope this will help.
Hezbollah is an Islamic Shiite terror organization founded in 1982 that was formed to expel U.S., French and Israeli troops from Lebanon; it has since widened its sphere of activity though. Despite being designated as a terrorist organization by U.S. and Canada, being on a watchlist by the EU, and having it be a crime to support and/or identify with the 'militant wing' in Australia, Hezbollah argues that it is a national "resistance" organization. The fact is though, that it has evolved into a substantial global terrorist network. In 2002, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called Hezbollah the "A-team" of terrorists.
Their fundamental Shiite ideology is baed on both the writings of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and the radical Shiite-Islamic doctrine conceived by Iran's spiritual leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The ideology is consistent and relentless in its struggle against Israel until the "liberation of Jerusalem" and the annihilation of Israel are achieved, and is intensely hostile towards the U.S. Below is a look at the organizational structure of Hezbollah.
Their reputation as the "A-team" of terror and broad recognition as a terror organization is well deserved. From 1983 to 2000, Hezbollah was actively involved in terror activities worldwide:
- 04/83: Explosion at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, 63 employees killed
- 10/83: Explosion at the U.S./French HQ in Beirut, 240 U.S. Marines and 58 paratoppers killed
- 12/83: Explosion at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait
- 03/84: Kidnapping and murder of CIA Beirut Station Head William Buckley
- 09/84: Car bomb detonated at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait
- 12/84: Kuwaiti passenger jet hijacked en route from Dubai to Karachi, 2 U.S. citizens murdered
- 04/85: Explosion at the Zaragosa restaurant in Spain
- 05/85: Kidnapping of Terry Anderson
- 06/85: TWA passenger jet hijacked en route from Athens to Rome, U.S. citizen murdered
- 01/87: Kidnapping of Rev. Terry Waite
- 06/87: Kidnapping of American journalist Charles Glass
- 02/88: Kidnapping and murder of UNIFIL Col. Higgins
- 04/88: Kuwaiti flight KU-22 hijacked en route from Bangkok to Kuwait
- 03/92: Explosion at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, 29 civilians killed and 250 injured
- 07/94: Explosion at the Jewish community "AMIA" building in Argentina, 100 civilians killed, 200 injured
- 06/96: Involvement in attack on U.S. Army base in Saudi Arabia, 19 killed and 500 injured
- 10/00: Israeli citizen Elhanan Tannenbaum kidnapped
Hezbollah also actively supports Palestinian terror. This is achieved via raising funds for terrorism at the level of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, smuggling arms across the Lebanse-Israeli border or through Syria, Jordan and/or Egypt through tunnels into Rafah (the IDF has intercepted three ships attempting to smuggle weapons into Israel with Hezbollah's involvement), logistical support, procuring weapons and dual use technologies, illegal infiltration and assimilation into local communities, recruitment of new members, pre-operational surveillance and training.
Finally, we want to note that though Hezbollah's military capabilities have been extremely degraded during Operation Change of Direction, there is still a very serious artillery threat and Hezbollah must be disarmed as per UNSCR 1559 and the newly passed UNSCR 1701. The international community demands nothing less. It cannot be achieved though without the cooperation of the Lebanse goverment in both the active disarming and in shutting down the supply routes, as stipulated in the arms embargo section of UNSCR 1701, from Syria and Iran. Below is a look at what Israel faces today.