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Business News/ News / World/  What is Hezbollah? What it has to do with Israel-Hamas war? All you need to know
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What is Hezbollah? What it has to do with Israel-Hamas war? All you need to know

Israel's pledge to eradicate Hamas' presence from the Gaza Strip triggers Hezbollah

Israel-Hamas war: A Hezbollah supporter carries a banner depicting Hezbollah senior official Sayyed Hashem Safieddine during a protest, after hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon (REUTERS)Premium
Israel-Hamas war: A Hezbollah supporter carries a banner depicting Hezbollah senior official Sayyed Hashem Safieddine during a protest, after hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon (REUTERS)

Israel's pledge to eradicate Hamas' presence from the Gaza Strip has triggered its other enemy--Hezbollah. For decades, Hezbollah has been a politically significant force in Lebanon, located in the north of Israel.

Israel and Hamas have been exchanging fires since October 7 when Hamas mounted an attack in Israel and killed 1,400 people.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who is known for issuing threats against Israel in speeches, has not given a public address since the crisis began this month.

Also read: Israel-Hamas war: Canadian Professor Gad Saad predicts China as safe haven for Jews, says ‘learn Cantonese or Mandarin’

What is Hezbollah?

Hezbollah, which means "Party of God" is an ally of Hamas. It was set up by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in 1982 to fight Israeli forces that had invaded Lebanon. It has remained a sworn enemy of Israel, which sees the group as the biggest threat at its borders.

Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israeli forces in the most serious escalation across the Lebanese-Israeli frontier since 2006 when Hezbollah and Israel fought a war.

Since then, its arsenal has expanded and its fighters -have fought in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Also read: Israel-Hamas War Day 17: Gaza sees ‘most violent night yet’ as bombardment kills 400 people in 24 hours

Hezbollah has trained paramilitary groups in Syria and Iraq and inspired other forces such as Yemen's Iran-allied Houthis.

US deems Hezbollah a terrorist group.

The US holds Hezbollah responsible for a suicide bombing that destroyed the its Marine headquarters in Beirut in October 1983, killing 241 servicemen, and two suicide bombings on the U.S. embassy in 1983 and its annex in 1984.

Hezbollah in Lebanon?

Hezbollah and its political allies lost their majority in Lebanon's Parliament in an election last year but the group remained a formidable political force and continue to exercise de facto control over parts of the country, including southern Lebanon.

Also read: Hamas war: Israel’s ‘right to defend' against terrorism gets a thumbs-up from UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Italy

Israel strikes Lebanon

Israel bombarded Gaza with air strikes and its aircraft struck southern Lebanon overnight on 23 October.

Israeli aircraft struck two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon that were planning to launch anti-tank missiles and rockets toward Israel, its military said. Israel's military also said it struck other Hezbollah targets, including a compound and an observation post.

Countries not supporting Israel amid war

Since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on 7 October, the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah has already mounted operations against Israel, while others have threatened US interests. Here are countries supporting Gaza and Palestine--Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan.

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Published: 23 Oct 2023, 11:10 AM IST
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