Hezbollah

It’s no secret that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support is critical in facilitating the activities of Hezbollah, one of its most powerful proxies.

The tension between Hezbollah and Israel keeps rising. While attempts to reach a diplomatic agreement to prevent further escalation have thus far failed, another aspect of Lebanese complexities has come into view, namely the complex interplay between the Shia Amal Party and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

This week, Lebanon marks the 19th anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The attack was the most high-profile political murder in the country since the end of the civil war in 1989.

This month will mark the 16th anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s top military commander, in the suburbs of Damascus on February 12, 2008.

As the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel continues along the Israeli-Lebanese border for the third month now, fears of an all-out war are rising. Two events in recent weeks are contemporary examples of how Hezbollah operates in Lebanon on the strategic and domestic internal levels. They demonstrate how Hezbollah has overtaken and dominated the Lebanese state.

Over the years and through numerous speeches and articles published by the Hezbollah leadership, there is a conceptual framework for its use of military power against Israel.

An Argentine court reportedly decided on January 8 to order a Boeing 747 plane—previously owned by the Islamic Republic’s state airline company Mahan Air—to be returned to U.S. jurisdiction. If the order takes effect, it will hinder cooperation between two anti-American regimes: Iran and Venezuela.

The main event that caught Lebanon’s attention last week was the assassination attributed to Israel of  Saleh Al-Arouri, the deputy politburo head of Hamas. The pinpoint aerial attack in the center of Dahiya, a Hezbollah “safe haven” in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, was the first of its kind since the 2006 Lebanon War.

Israel is a country tragically all too familiar with violence and warfare. But even in the bloody annals of the Jewish state, October 7, 2023 is, and will likely remain, a unique wound. The images of murdered civilians strewn in the streets of the towns surrounding the Gaza Strip intertwining with the cries of abducted children being carted off into the dark abyss of the Hamas-controlled enclave to haunt the Israeli national psyche – and all people of conscience –  for decades.

The U.S.-mediated Lebanon-Israel maritime border agreement was hailed as a diplomatic accomplishment upon its signing two years ago. In each of the three countries, officials declared that their national objectives had been accomplished, and that a regional war had been narrowly avoided.  Some pro Lebanon analysts even hailed the agreement as a major victory over Hezbollah, which they claimed has recognized  Israel’s existence.