Hizballah and Israel: Strategic threat on the northern border

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Abstract

During the three years following Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Hizballah evolved from a militant radical organization into a mini-military empire with its own territory, Hizballahland, in the south of the country along Israel's northern border. Hizballah is a radical, militant, irresponsible organization, drunk with power and supported by Iran, which lies thousands of kilometres away and therefore remains unscathed by the conflagration it has helped to create. Armed with military power, an undying hatred of Israel, and a messianic belief that victory is near, Hizballah holds the key to future peace and stability in the region. While Israel once perceived Hizballah as merely a nuisance along its border, more recently it has come to view the group as a serious strategic threat, equal to that posed by Syria, Iraq and Iran. The view that any future war with Hizballah will be existential in nature is also increasingly common. This article will examine how this radical and militant terrorist group, once merely an annoyance, has become such a strategic challenge to Israel?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-106
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Affairs
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

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