Lebanon

Hezbollah’s response to the economic crisis in Lebanon

For over a year, there has been a severe economic and political crisis in Lebanon, whose end is not in sight. Underlying the crisis are fundamental problems, mainly firmly-rooted corruption and a chronic state of political instability. Additional difficulties have been added to the fundamental problems: the COVID-19 crisis; the negative effects of US sanctions on the Lebanese economy and banking system; the explosion at the Port of Beirut; difficulties stemming from the Syrian civil war (the problem of Syrian refugees who fled to Lebanon); and the lack of external assistance due to Lebanon’s failure to carry out the reforms required by the international community
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The events in Lebanon for the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani were exploited by Hezbollah for a propaganda campaign within the Shi’ite community to spread a message of solidarity with Iran and its policies

At the beginning of January 2021 Hezbollah held a series of events and ceremonies within the Shi'ite community in Lebanon to mark the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Qods Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandas, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization in Iraq (January 2, 2020). Most of the ceremonies were held in south Lebanon (in the Shi'ite villages near the Israeli border). Some of them were held in the Dahiyeh, Beirut's Shi'ite southern suburb, and in the Beqa'a Valley.
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The civilian infrastructure established by Hezbollah among the Shiite population: the city of Nabatieh as a case study

This document is the second in a series of studies aimed to examine the scope and conduct of Hezbollah’s civilian institutions and the extent of their influence on the local population. As a case study, the ITIC chose several main Shiite cities and the rural areas surrounding them in the three main Shiite population regions: southern Lebanon, the southern suburb of Beirut (Dahieh), and the Bekaa Valley. In each of them, the activity of Hezbollah’s civilian institutions will be examined in comparison with that of Lebanese government institutions or other Shiite organizations (the Amal Movement and other Shiite institutions which are not affiliated with Hezbollah but operate under its auspices). The city of Bint Jbeil was the first in this series of case studies . Nabatieh, a large city with a Shiite population, in southern Lebanon, was chosen to be the second case study.
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More countries have recently declared all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization but some EU countries still refrain from doing so.

On March 1, 2019, Britain designated all of Hezbollah (i.e., both its military and political infrastructures) as a terrorist organization. Thus, Britain joined Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. In the wake of Britain, a new wave of similar declarations began, with American encouragement, from European and Latin American countries.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 18, 2020 – November 1, 2020)

The new Iranian trade center was officially inaugurated in Damascus. The Representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader to Syria, Abolfazl Tabatabaei Ashkezari, completed his tenure in Syria and was replaced by Hamid Saffar Harandi. The U.S. Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi. In late October, the secretary general of the Iraqi Shia pro-Iranian militia, Harakat al-Nujabaa’, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials. Iran appointed - for the first time after five years - Hassan Eyrolou, its new ambassador to Yemen.
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Law, politics and Terrorism: Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri – the verdict and its weaknesses

On February 14, 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a truck bomb detonated near his convoy on the Beirut promenade. The blast left 22 people dead and more than 200 wounded. Blame was directed at the Assad regime (which was in control of Lebanon at the time) and Hezbollah, its political ally, both of which had a clear interest in eliminating Hariri, a prominent opponent of the “Syrian order” in Lebanon and of Hezbollah. Hariri’s assassination led to political turmoil in Lebanon.
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Lebanon

Lebanon is a small country with a population of only about 4.1 million. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon borders on Israel in the south and Syria in the east and north. It gained its independence from France on November 22, 1943. Due to Lebanon’s varied ethnic composition, its history is rife with schisms, conflicts and civil wars based on sectarian allegiances. Since its independence, Lebanon has had a unique political system of ethnic distribution with a parliamentary democracy based on ethnic-sectarian-religious representation. The most important offices are divided among the various religious groups, in accordance with the national charter of 1943.


Lebanon’s social complexity, the weakness of its central government, and the social and economic gaps between the various ethnic groups led to the rise of many armed sectarian-political militias, some of which turned to terrorism. The most prominent Shiite terrorist organization in Lebanon is Hezbollah, which was founded in the summer of 1982 during the First Lebanon War. It is not only a terrorist organization which owes its allegiance to the Iranian regime, it has also been incorporated into the Lebanese political system.


Lebanon has traditionally served as an arena for foreign forces, both Middle Eastern and international. In the past, Syria’s intervention in Lebanon was most conspicuous. Today, Iran’s intervention is most conspicuous: it provides Hezbollah in Lebanon with weapons, ammunition, financing and military training. The border between Israel and Lebanon has undergone some tense periods and several confrontations where IDF forces entered the Lebanese territory. Since the Second Lebanon War (2006), the border between Israel and Lebanon has been relatively quiet, a situation exploited by Hezbollah to advance its military buildup and intensely intervene in the civil war in Syria, under Iranian direction.