Funding terrorism: US sanctions imposed on an extensive network of Hezbollah companies supporting its military-terrorist activity

On February 26, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the designation as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) of three senior officials heading Hezbollah’s Martyrs Foundation.

The COVID-19 Infection in Lebanon

Until recently the number of reported cases was stable and it seemed that the spread of the disease was under control. Even locations that were potential hotspots, such as the Palestinian refugee camps, reported only isolated cases. However, this past week there was a rise in the number of infections detected, raising concern over a second outbreak, and prompting the Lebanese government to impose a four-day general lockdown on the entire country.

Germany outlaws Hezbollah, joining other countries which designated it as a terrorist organization

On April 30, 2020, Germany banned Hezbollah from operating on German soil and designated it as a terrorist organization. Immediately after doing so, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer instructed the security forces to conduct searches in mosques, in gathering places of Hezbollah followers and in a number of suspects’ homes in several cities (including Berlin, Bremen, Münster and Dortmund).

Fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Lebanon: The medical crisis is waning while the political crisis is flaring up

To date, 737 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Lebanon, 25 of whom have died (updated to May 3, 2020). Most of the patients are in Christian and Sunni areas. In Shiite areas, where Hezbollah is dominant, a relatively low number of confirmed and suspected cases have been reported. According to reports by the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the infection rate is relatively low and the handling of the virus is under control.

The fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon

On February 1, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 infection was detected in Lebanon. On March 10, 2020, the first COVID-19 patient died. So far (updated to April 10, 2020), a total of 582 people have been infected in Lebanon, 29 of them severely. A total of 19 people have died of COVID-19 and 67 recovered. There were no reports of patients among the Palestinians living in the refugee camps. However, it should be taken into account that there may be such cases which were not detected.

Hezbollah’s coping with COVID-19: A test case of the conduct of the mini-state established by Hezbollah in Lebanon

According to data of the Lebanese Health Ministry (updated to March 30, 2020), there were 446 COVID-19 cases in Lebanon. The first two cases were two women who came back from a trip of 70 mothers of Hezbollah’s shaheeds that took place in Iran. Eleven of the patients died. Morbidity among the Shiite population in Lebanon was relatively low, possibly due to the high percentage of young people in Shiite society.


Hezbollah is a Shi’ite Muslim organization with a dual identity, being both a terrorist organization supported by Iran and a Lebanese political party. Hezbollah was founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 1982 to compete with Amal, an important Shi’ite Muslim militia active during the Lebanese civil war. When the IDF withdrew from Lebanon at the end of the First Lebanon War (1985), Hezbollah became the dominant organization in south Lebanon and later throughout the entire Shi’ite population in Lebanon. In 1992, Hezbollah entered Lebanese politics and its representatives were elected to the parliament.

Hezbollah is a terrorist organization attacking mainly Israel, from over the Lebanese border and abroad. For the most part, Hezbollah attacked northern Israeli cities with rockets. However, with direction and backing from Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah also carried out terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad, the most serious of which were the attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (March 17, 1992) and the attack on the Jewish Community Center, also in Buenos Aires (July 18, 1994). Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

After the IDF withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah took control of the entire region. With Iranian support it constructed a vast military infrastructure in Lebanon, including an extensive artillery layout and precision missiles which threaten the Israeli home front. Before the Second Lebanon War (2006), Hezbollah carried out sporadic attacks along the border. Since June 2006 (the Second Lebanon War), it has maintained a relatively low profile.

Hezbollah continues to increase its influence as a political power in Lebanon, and at the same time reinforce its military infrastructure. In recent years, Hezbollah has been involved in the fighting in Syria as part of the Iranian-led camp supporting the Syrian regime.

Ever since its establishment, the State of Israel has been forced to deal with waves of terror of various types and at various levels of intensity directed against it and its citizens. These waves of terror are carried out by various Palestinian organizations that have been conducting the terror campaign against Israel for decades. Over the years, the activity of Palestinian terrorist organizations has caused many losses among Israel’s civilian population. The activity of Palestinian terrorist organizations was not limited to the borders of the State of Israel, but was carried out abroad as well (mainly in 1968-1978, the peak years of global terrorist activity).

There are ideological differences between the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Some of them are Palestinian terrorist organizations with an Islamic ideology and some have a secular ideology. However, the terrorist activity that they carry out appears to share the same goals. The main goals are: to disrupt the lives of the Israeli civilian population and undermine its security, to harm Israel’s economy and image, and to place the Palestinian issue and its ideology on the global agenda.

During the years of the conflict, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have attempted to carry out attacks in almost every possible arena (land, sea, air, in Israel and abroad), refining their methods and modus operandi. The bases of many terrorist organizations are located in the Gaza Strip, but there are also networks operating in Judea and Samaria. Some of the organizations also have a presence in Arab countries, and some receive support from countries or organizations. Over the years of Palestinian terror, the terrorist organization map has changed. Some of the terrorist organizations have disappeared or died down, but new terrorist organizations have emerged in their stead.