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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 09th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Lebanon: Hezbollah's Reshuffle
Lebanon: Hezbollah's Reshuffle PDF Print E-mail
Written by STRATFOR   
Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hezbollah Structure
Hezbollah Structure

Hezbollah has reshuffled its organization in anticipation of renewed military conflict with Israel.

Stratfor has received intelligence regarding an organizational makeover Hezbollah has undertaken in anticipation of renewed military conflict with Israel. The recent reshuffles were made after the February assassination of top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah. Since then, the threats of war from Israel have intensified and the Shiite militant group has accelerated its preparations for a military confrontation. According to Stratfor sources, the reshuffles are not aimed at purging individuals from the party, but rather at streamlining its operations in preparation for imminent war.

According to our intelligence, Hezbollah has disbanded its Executive Council, known in Arabic as the Hayat Shura al-Tanfiz. Members of the defunct body have been absorbed into the Jihad Council, or al-Majlis al-Jihadi, whose prominent members include Talal Hamiyye, Ibrahim Aqil, Fuad Shukr, and Mustafa Badreddine. Hashim Safieddine, the maternal cousin of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who formally was in charge of the Executive Council and reportedly will head the expanded Jihad Council.

Hezbollah leaders have decided to divide the functions of the revamped Jihad Council to serve two primary agendas:

1. The national agenda involves training non-Shiite Lebanese groups allied with Hezbollah. The trainees will be organized into Lebanese Resistance Units, or al-Saraya al-Lubnaniyya lil Muqawama, to carry out a variety of functions — including political, social and military roles — for the organization. The idea behind the non-Shiite units is to give the impression that Hezbollah is a nationalist Lebanese resistance movement, not solely an exclusively Shiite organization.

2. The Shiite agenda is the main focus of Hezbollah. It concerns itself with improving the position of the Lebanese Shiite community primarily through political representation, military protection, social services and economic development.

[ Organizational Structure ] 

Hezbollah’s institutional reorganization is not likely to have any major impact on the group’s decision-making, however. The group’s institutions act primarily as ratification bodies to deal with the political, social, economic and financial affairs of the party.

Decisions on strategic military and security matters generally are made outside the party’s hierarchy. Though the military and security apparatus sometimes collaborates with the Shura Council, security issues generally are kept out of the purview of the council members. Hezbollah’s preference to separate the political establishment from its military counterpart is largely modeled after the Algerian National Liberation Front and its military wing, the National Liberation Army.

Hezbollah’s military and security apparatus has been busy making preparations of its own for what it sees as an impending military confrontation with Israel. Hezbollah military officials reportedly are meeting on a regular basis with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers in the Iranian Embassy complex in Bir Hassan, near Beirut. These meetings are aimed at beefing up Hezbollah defenses and putting the finishing touches on plans for Hezbollah special forces to launch raids behind Israeli lines if and when the Israel Defense Forces cross the Litani River.

To back up these military plans, Hezbollah has needs to firm up control over the administrative units that are largely run by Safieddine through the Jihad Council. The auxiliary units — known as Ansar al-Hizb, Arabic for “The Party’s Partisans” — will be assigned special tasks to sabotage Israeli operations and provide cover for Hezbollah forces in the event of war. Hezbollah already has distributed weapons to members of the auxiliary units in Beirut’s southern suburbs, the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon for this purpose.


By Stratfor. This Report Expresses the views of Stratfor

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of CRNews.


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