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[hez-buh-lah; Arabic khes-bah-lah] /ˌhɛz bəˈlɑ; Arabic ˌxɛs bɑˈlɑ/

a radical Shiʿite Muslim organization in Lebanon engaged in guerrilla warfare against Israel.
an organization of militant Shiite Muslims based in Lebanon

extremist Shiite group active in Lebanon, founded c.1982, from Persian hezbollah, Arabic hizbullah, literally “Party of God,” from hezb/hizb “party” + allah “God.” An adherent is a Hezbollahi. The name of various Islamic groups in modern times, the name itself is attested in English by 1960 in referense to an Indonesian guerilla battalion of 1945 that “grew out of a similarly named organization formed by the Japanese to give training in military drill to young Moslems.”

In Modjokuto (like Masjumi itself, Hizbullah was Indonesia-wide but, also like Masjumi, it had little effective central organization) this group was led by the present head of Muhammadijah — the same man who a year or so before was going to Djakarta for propaganda training and studying to be a kamikaze. [Clifford Geertz, “The Religion of Java,” Chicago, 1960]

A radical Arabic organization that arose after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Hezbollah has often been accused of terrorism.


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