The 2012 race between the outposts of Ali al-Taher ridge east of Nabatieh. The race was held to commemorate the IDF’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon. It ended in the reenactment of the waving of Hezbollah’s flag above the IDF’s Dlaat outpost on the Ali al-Taher ridge, on October 29, 1994 (Al-Khiyam website, May 31, 2012).
Race organized by the Sports Mobilization in Nabatieh, in which participants ran to the IDF’s Dlaat outpost to remove the Israeli flag and hoist the Hezbollah flag (Nabatieh’s local news website, June 2, 2012).
Findings of the study
- Following are the findings of an examination of Hezbollah’s civilian institutions in Nabatieh:
- In the city of Nabatieh and the rural area surrounding it, Hezbollah, with massive Iranian support, has established a substantial infrastructure of social institutions providing the local population with a wide variety of services. As in Bint Jbeil, Hezbollah’s two prominent spheres of activity are education and health, in which Hezbollah is dominant, albeit not exclusive.
- Prominent in the area of education is the Al-Mustafa School, which is part of Hezbollah’s school network. The students are mainly children of high-ranking Hezbollah figures and well-off families in the Resistance Society. The Al-Mustafa school in Nabatieh includes several educational institutions, from kindergarten to high school. This is the largest educational institution in Nabatieh (1,722 students), and the number of students and teachers exceeds the number of students and teachers at each of the other state or private schools in the city. Its level of study is relatively high. The tuition fee is high, but the school provides scholarships or subsidies to population groups associated with Hezbollah (for example, children of shaheeds, of wounded Hezbollah operatives or of clerics). In the town of Sharqiya, west of Nabatieh, there is an elementary school, a branch of Hezbollah’s Al-Mahdi school network.
Poster published in June 2019, showing shaheeds who were graduates of the Al-Mustafa school network. Visible on the poster are the sons of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and ezbollah’s senior military commander Imad Mughniyeh (Osama Nour al-Din’s Twitter account, June 28, 2019)
- Prominent in the health sector is the Zahra Clinic, which is part of Hezbollah’s Islamic Health Organization (it is also referred to as “the Hospital of the South”). It provides a variety of medical services, including specialists, lab tests, and vaccinations. Apart from that, Nabatieh and the neighboring village of Toul have two other healthcare institutions, the Islamic Health Organization’s Mental Health Center and the Ragheb Harb Iranian Red Crescent Hospital (Ragheb Harb was a Khomeinist sheikh handled by Iran; he operated in the village of Jebchit, west of Nabatieh, at the time of the IDF’s presence in Lebanon. He was posthumously named “Sheikh of Shaheeds” and became the symbol of Hezbollah’s struggle against Israel). The hospital has 50 beds and an emergency room, an operating room and a pediatrics department.
Right: The Islamic Health Organization’s Zahra Clinic in Nabatieh (Islamic Health Organization’s website, September 15, 2016). Left: The Islamic Health Organization’s Mental Health Center in Nabatieh (Islamic Health Organization’s website, November 20, 2015)
- Hezbollah’s other civilian institutions also have branches in Nabatieh and its environs, providing services to the population in their areas of activity: a pharmacy (selling Iranian medications at reduced prices); Hezbollah’s Foundation for the Wounded (which has a physiotherapy and rehabilitation center in Nabatieh); two troops of the Al-Mahdi Scouts Movement; the Education Mobilization, which indoctrinates Shiite students in the Lebanese education systems; women’s organizations; a quasi-banking institution (the Al-Qard al-Hasan association); Jihad al-Bina; the Sports Mobilization (which runs, inter alia, a soccer school); cultural institutions belonging to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Maaref Islamic Cultural Association; Hezbollah companies; and a gas station belonging to Hezbollah’s Al-Amana chain of gas stations.
Right: The 2012 race between the outposts of Ali al-Taher ridge east of Nabatieh. The race was held to commemorate the IDF’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon. It ended in the reenactment of the waving of Hezbollah’s flag above the IDF’s Dlaat outpost on the Ali al-Taher ridge, on October 29, 1994 (Al-Khiyam website, May 31, 2012). Left: Race organized by the Sports Mobilization in Nabatieh, in which participants ran to the IDF’s Dlaat outpost to remove the Israeli flag and hoist the Hezbollah flag (Nabatieh’s local news website, June 2, 2012).
- The municipal area: A joint list of Hezbollah and Amal (Loyalty and Development) won the recent municipal elections in 2016. In Nabatieh there are two municipalities, headed by two mayors who are closely affiliated with Hezbollah – at least one of them is a Hezbollah member (Dr. Ahmad Kahil, who is also in charge of Hezbollah’s Hospital Unit). Hezbollah’s municipal power helps it acquire influence on the ground and sometimes even gain funding for its civilian activity (thus, for example, the Nabatieh municipality is a client of Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction, two Hezbollah companies which have been sanctioned by the US since September 2020).
Projects planned by Arch Consulting for the Nabatieh municipality. Left: Plan of the Nabatieh Park. Right: Nabatieh parking lot (Arch Consulting website)
The structure of the study
- Part One: The city of Nabatieh: Overview.
- Part Two: Hezbollah’s civilian institutions in Nabatieh and the extent of their impact on the local population:
- Hezbollah’s educational institutions
- The Al-Mustafa school
- The Al-Mahdi school in Sharqiya
- Educational institutions of other Shiite organizations
- Academic institutes and branches of the universities in Beirut
- Hezbollah’s healthcare services
- Healthcare institutions of Hezbollah and the Iranian Red Crescent
- Healthcare institutions of other entities
- Hezbollah’s subsidized medical services
- The Foundation for the Wounded
- Training and inculcating youth with radical ideology: the Imam Al-Mahdi Scout Movement and the Education Mobilization
- Women’s organizations
- Quasi-banking institution (the Al-Qard al-Hasan Association)
- Jihad al-Bina
- Sports Mobilization
- Municipal activity
- Hezbollah companies
- Commissioning work by the Nabatieh municipality from Hezbollah companies
- A gas station belonging to the Al-Amana chain
- Welfare services
 See the ITIC's Information Bulletin from December 2020, “The civilian infrastructure established by Hezbollah among the Shiite population in Lebanon: the city of Bint Jbeil as a case study” ↑
 On October 29, 1994, Hezbollah operatives managed to infiltrate into the IDF’s Dlaat Outpost. They hoisted the Hezbollah flag on one of the embankments and threw an IED into the IDF’s observation post. They then fled unscathed. The event was widely covered by the media and became part of Hezbollah’s battle legacy. ↑