Hezbollah (or The Party of God) emerged in 1982 as a guerilla resistance army fighting against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Though primarily Shiite, the party has drawn support from a broad range of organizations both religious and political; its primary appeal was to the disenfranchised Shiite youth in Lebanon. Hezbollah has relied on the Islamic government of Iran for military and monetary aid and was added to the U.S. State Department's list of international terrorist groups in October of 1997. The party has since gained political legitimacy in Lebanon, currently holding 12 parliamentary seats, while the civilian branch of Hezbollah runs schools, orphanages and a television station.
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