The logo of Hezbollah's 40th anniversary celebrations (Sheikh Hussein Ziyan al-Din's Twitter account, June 17, 2022).
Positioning Stop and Dangerous Junction signs with the association's logo (Afif Shuman's Twitter account, June 23, 2022).
Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah meets with Isma'il Haniyeh (al-Ahad news website, June 23, 2022).
- Hezbollah announced events would be held for the 40th anniversary of its founding, ending with a large rally in August 2022.
- Senior Hezbollah figures claimed exploring for natural gas in the Mediterranean was an opportunity to rescue Lebanon’s economy and called for a united position that would not allow Israel to exploit Lebanon’s natural resources.
- Cooperation between Hezbollah’s civilian organizations and Lebanese government ministries is being expanded, while Hezbollah carries out activities in areas where there is no Shi’ite majority.
- The Special Tribunal for Lebanon of the International Criminal Court established to investigate the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, sentenced two additional Hezbollah operatives to life imprisonment for their involvement.
- Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, visited Lebanon and met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
- The Iranian militias in Syria have increased their activity near the Jordanian border
Hezbollah and Lebanon
Hezbollah marks its 40th anniversary
- Muhammad Afif, responsible for Hezbollah public information, told a press conference that between July 20 and August 20, 2022, events and ceremonies would be held to mark the 40th anniversary of the organization’s founding. The final event would be a large rally featuring a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to combine 40 years since the organization’s founding, 16 years since the Second Lebanon War and five years since the “liberation” of the Syrian-Lebanese border. He said the objective was to appeal to the younger generation to participate in “writing the history of the ‘resistance’ ” [i.e., anti-Israeli terrorism] (al-Akhbar and the al-‘Ahad website, June 17, 2022).
- Hezbollah supporters on the social networks launched a campaign to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organization’s founding with the hashtag #forty_springs. It attracted many tweets, pictures and videos of important events in Hezbollah history (Twitter accounts of Hezbollah supporters beginning June 15, 2022). The campaign also revealed its logo, which features a Hezbollah flag forming the number 40 in Arabic and the words, “Hezbollah, forty springs.”
The logo of Hezbollah’s 40th anniversary celebrations (Sheikh Hussein Ziyan al-Din’s Twitter account, June 17, 2022).
Natural gas exploration near Lebanon’s naval border
- In preparation for the arrival of the American negotiator Bassam Yassin, who in the past headed the delegation negotiating the Lebanese naval border, said that the first thing Lebanon would ask for from the United States would be to put a stop to the explorations in the Karish oilfield and the removal of the ship (al-Alam, June 12, 2022).
- Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Naguib Mikati, Parliament Speaker Nabi’ Berri, Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib and Lebanese Army Commander Joseph Aoun met with American envoy Amos Hochstein and stressed Lebanon’s rights and sovereignty over its territorial waters and natural resources, issues “all Lebanese agreed on.” President Aoun said he hoped Hochstein would return to Lebanon soon with Israel’s answer (al-‘Ahad and al-Alam websites, June 14, 2022).
- The Loyalty to the Resistance faction (Hezbollah’s representatives in the Lebanese Parliament) called for a united, sovereign, national position which would convey a strong message to “the enemy” [Israel] and prevent it from “stealing Lebanon’s national natural resources and trespassing on its naval borders.” Muhammad Raad, who heads the faction, said the Lebanese were carefully following the actions of the American envoy dealing with Lebanon’s naval border and waiting for results (al-Alam website, June 16-17, 2022).
- Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said the only real opportunity to rescue Lebanon’s economy was by profiting from the oil and natural gas found offshore. He said Lebanon today was strong and could protect its natural resources and produce oil and gas (al-Alam website, June 19, 2022).
Hezbollah expands its civilian activities
- The al-Qubah district in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, there was an outbreak of hepatitis among children, with about 200 recorded cases. Most of them are being taken care of at home because the families cannot afford to send them to the hospital. Following the outbreak, the Help One Another association began organizing aid from Hezbollah supporters and distributing it to needy families (al-‘Ahad website, June 13, 2022). The district has almost no Shi’ites and is considered hostile to Hezbollah.
- The Help One Another association is expected to expand its activities in the near future, and to that that end, Afif Shuman, association director, met with Mustafa Biram, the Lebanese minister of labor, to coordinate efforts with the ministry (al-‘Ahad website, June 14, 2022).
- In the meantime, the association launched a campaign to recruit volunteers to help improve safety on the Zahrani-Nabatieh highway. Solar-powered lighting will be installed and the entrance to the highway, warning signs will be posted at intersections and a median will be paved between the lanes. The work is being coordinated by the local councils, the ministry of public works and Amal Parliament member Hani Qabisi. The solar panels for the lighting were donated by a man whose daughter was killed in a traffic accident on the highway (Twitter account of Abbas Ayoub, June 21, 2022).
- As part of the project, the association is considering appealing directly to the Chinese embassy in Beirut for solar-powered lighting made in China (Twitter account of Afif Shuman, June 25, 2022). Should such an appeal be made, it would be in response to Nasrallah’s call to “turn to the East” to develop Lebanon’s economy without Western influence. On the other hand, it could be interpreted as challenging the Lebanese government by establishing facts on the ground, since the government did not officially respond to Nasrallah’s call.
Positioning Stop and Dangerous Junction signs with the association’s logo (Afif Shuman’s Twitter account, June 23, 2022).
- Hezbollah’s Construction Jihad association gave low-interest loans to sheep breeders for the purchase of animals in the Jbeil and Kasrawan districts and paid for the animals to be vaccinated to prevent an outbreak of disease (al-Manar TV, June 17, 2022). Most of the residents of both districts are Maronites, but judging by the names of the people who received aid and were interviewed for the report, at least some of them were local Shi’ites.
- Former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri posted to the social networks that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of the International Criminal Court, which investigated the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, sentenced Hassan Mari’ and Hassan Anisi, both Hezbollah operatives, to life imprisonment (al-Nashra, June 16, 2022). Former Prime Minister Fouad Seniora praised the decision and called on Hezbollah to surrender the assassins [to the Court] (Janoubia website, June 17, 2022).
- Al-Arabiya TV reported that the American State Department offered a reward of $10 million to anyone providing information about Hasib Hadwan, a senior official in Hezbollah’s general secretariat, and Ali al-Shaer, Hadwan’s office manager, both responsible for collecting funds abroad for the organization (al-Nashra, June 20, 2022).
- Hezbollah announced the death from illness of the “jihad and resistance shaheed, the jihad fighter” Qassem Husni Badr al-Din from the town of Harouf in south Lebanon (Twitter account of Thaer Aldar, June 22, 2022). According to the social networks, he was a graphic designer for the organization (Twitter accounts of Ali Karar and Muhammad Samaha, June 22-23, 2022). However, he was also photographed wearing a uniform and carrying a gun, and he was referred to in military terms, additional proof of the close connection between Hezbollah’s military and civilian activities.
Picture of Badr al-Din, with an announcement reading, “The time has come for you to know that Qassem was the unknown soldier who designed thousands of artistic pictures illustrating our victories” (Ali Karar’s Twitter account, June 22, 2022).
- Dr. Abbas al-Halabi, minister of education and higher education in the Lebanese interim government, met with a delegation of members of the Loyalty to the Resistance faction, and with the person in charge of educational mobilization in Beirut. They thanked him for the visit of senior officials of his ministry to the regions of Baalbek and Hermel, and described the educational needs of the schools in various districts (al-‘Ahad, June 23, 2022).
Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria
- A delegation of the Hamas leadership headed by Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, arrived in Beirut to meet with Lebanese government officials (al-Alam website, June 21, 2022). Haniyeh met with Nasrallah and they discussed developments in “Palestine,” Lebanon and the Middle East, as well as the development of the “resistance axis” [i.e., the anti-Israel terrorist organizations], threats, challenge and opportunities (al-‘Ahad website, June 23, 2022). After the meeting Haniyeh’s spokesman said that all the “resistance” fronts would not be “easy prey” and the resistance could impose its own “equations,” now and in the future (Yunis al-Zaatari’s Twitter account, June 24, 2022).
Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah meets with Isma’il Haniyeh
(al-Ahad news website, June 23, 2022).
- A delegation headed by Ali Barakeh, head of Hamas’ international relations abroad, paid a visit to the leadership of Asbat al-Ansar in the Ayn al-Hilweh refugee camp. They discussed recent developments in “Palestine” and the condition of the Palestinian people in the refugee camps in Lebanon. They condemned Israel’s [alleged] “ongoing aggression against al-Aqsa mosque,” the escalation of the clashes in the West Bank and the ongoing “siege” and attacks on the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Information Center website, June 19, 2022).
- The Palestinian health committee of the popular committees in the refugee camps in Lebanon warned of the danger of the spread of hepatitis, following the outbreak in northern Lebanon, especially in Tripoli (Palestinian refugees’ portal, June 14, 2022).
Iranian Activity in Syria
Iranian militias increase their activity near the Jordanian border
- King Abdallah of Jordan strongly criticized the growing influence of the Shi’ite militias along the Syria-Jordan border, accusing them of smuggling drugs and weapons, stating that they presented a danger to his country’s national security. He added that Jordan regarded the Russian presence in Syria as positive and a source of stability, but since the beginning of the war in Ukraine their presence had dwindled (orient.net website, June 25, 2022).
- According to a report from opponents of the Syrian regime, the Iranian militias recently began increasing their numbers and constructing posts near the Syrian-Jordanian border, preventing farmers from working their lands in the region southeast of the city of Daraa. The militias built fortifications near the air force base west of the old customs building in Daraa and near the towns of Tal Shihab and Kharab al-Shaham. According to local residents, the fortifications were constructed to protect smugglers en route to Jordan. The proof was that militia forces forbade military security and the Syrian army’s Fourth Division from deploying at the positions, only militia commanders supervised them (Jisser website, June 20, 2022).
- Opponents of the Syrian regime reported a serious lack of fuel in the areas under Syrian regime control, which led to an almost complete shut down of transportation and worsened the problems of the supply of electricity. According to the sources, one of the reasons for the lack of fuel was the delay in the supply of Iranian oil to Syria, caused by the difficulties in shipping oil from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, the result of the sanctions imposed on Iran, especially after the United States confiscated a shipment of Iranian oil in Greece’s territorial waters (orient.net website, June 14, 2022).
 For further information about Hezbollah's attempt to extend its influence to the Sunni districts of Lebanon, see the June 12, 2022 bulletin, "Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria, May 29 – June 12, 2022." ↑
 For further information about the call to turn to the East, see the January 17, 2021 bulletin, "Hezbollah’s response to the economic crisis in Lebanon." ↑
 For further information about educational mobilization, see the July 2, 2021 bulletin, "Hezbollah’s 'Education Mobilization:' An institution engaged in the indoctrination of Shiite students in Lebanon’s state and private educational systems, in preparation for their joining Hezbollah upon graduation." ↑
 Asbat al-Ansar is a radical Salafist Islamist Palestinian organization which operates in Lebanon, mainly in the Ayn al-Hilweh refugee camp. It has ties to the global jihad, and on December 27-28, 2005, was involved in firing rockets at Israel. ↑