|“||To talk about liberty and freedom is nice, lovely, but the important thing is to allow people to act in liberty and freedom.||„|
|~ Hassan Nasrallah|
Hassan Nasrallah (born August 31, 1960) is a Lebanese Shi'a Islam cleric and political leader who is the current Secretary-General of Hezbollah, having held the post since 1992 after the assassination of previous Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi.
Under his tenure, Hezbollah has been designated a terrorist organization, either wholly or in part, by the United States and other nations, as well as by the European Union. Russia rejects the claims that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and considers Hezbollah a legitimate sociopolitical organization. The People's Republic of China remains neutral, and maintains contacts with Hezbollah.
Hasan Nasrallah was born the ninth of ten children into a Shia family in Bourj Hammoud, Matn District (an eastern suburb of Beirut) on 31 August 1960. His father, Abdul Karim Nasrallah, was born in Bazourieh, a village in Jabal Amel (South Republic of Lebanon) located near Tyre and worked as a fruit and vegetables seller. But there was no sources mentioned about his mother's name. Although his family was not particularly religious, Hassan was interested in theological studies. He attended the al-Najah school and later a public school in the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Sin el Fil Beirut.
In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War forced the family, including Nasrallah who was 15 at the time, to move to their ancestral home in Bazourieh, where Nasrallah completed his secondary education at the public school of Sour (Tyre). There he attended secondary school, and briefly joined the Amal Movement, a Lebanese Shi'a political group.
Nasrallah studied at the Shi'a seminary in the Beqaa Valley town of Baalbek. The school followed the teachings of Iraqi-born Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, who founded the Dawa movement in Najaf, Iraq during the early 1960s.
Subsequently Nasrallah underwent a period of Islamic study at a Shiite seminary in Najaf, Iraq. Nasrallah was forced to return to Lebanon in 1979, by that time having completed the first part of his study, as Saddam Hussein was expelling many Shia's, including Ruhollah Khomeini (Ayatollah Khomeini) and Abbas Musawi a year earlier. Back in Lebanon, he studied and taught at the school of Amal’s leader Abbas al-Musawi, later being selected as Amal's political delegate in Beqaa, and making him a member of the central political office. Around the same time, in 1980, Saddam Hussein had Sadr executed.
Nasrallah joined Hezbollah after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In 1989, Hassan Nasrallah traveled to Qom, Iran, where he furthered his religious studies.
Nasrallah believes that Islam holds the solution to the problems of any society, once saying, "With respect to us, briefly, Islam is not a simple religion including only prayers and praises, rather it is a divine message that was designed for humanity, and it can answer any question man might ask concerning his general and personal life. Islam is a religion designed for a society that can revolt and build a community."
In 1991, Nasrallah returned to Lebanon and replaced Musawi as Hezbollah's leader after the latter was killed by an Israeli airstrike the following year. Nasrallah lived in South Beirut with his wife Fatimah Yasin (who comes from the Lebanese village of Al-Abbasiyah) and five children: Muhammad Hadi (died 1997), Muhammad Javed, Zainab, Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Mahdi. In September 1997, his eldest son Muhammad Hadi, was killed in battle with Israeli soldiers, after a Navy commando unit operation in which 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in Jabal al-Rafei in the South of Lebanon.
Nasrallah became the leader of Hezbollah after the Israelis assassinated the previous leader, Musawi, in 1992. During Nasrallah's leadership, Hezbollah acquired rockets with a longer range, which allowed them to strike at northern Israel despite the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. In 1993 Israel carried out Operation Accountability. Much Lebanese infrastructure was destroyed during the operation, which Israel claimed was successful. An agreement was eventually reached whereby, Israel ended its attacks in Lebanon and Hezbollah agreed to stop attacks on northern Israel.
However, after a short pause, hostilities resumed. In 1996 Israel launched Operation Grapes of Wrath, blocking important Lebanese harbour cities and bombing a Syrian military base. After 16 days of Israeli attacks in Lebanon, the Israeli–Lebanese Ceasefire Understanding was agreed upon. Again, Hezbollah agreed to stop rocket attacks in exchange for Israel halting its attacks. However, as in 1993, the peace did not last for long.
In Israel, it was increasingly debated whether the presence of Israeli forces in southern Lebanon was working, since it was clear that the 'security zone' could not stop Hezbollah rockets reaching into Israel. After heavy Israeli casualties in south lebanon, some Israeli politicians argued that the conflict would only end if Israel withdrew from Lebanon. In 2000 Ehud Barak finally withdrew Israeli forces from Lebanon. Following the Israeli withdrawal, the South Lebanon Army, which was supported by Israel, was quickly overrun by Hezbollah. Some SLA members escaped to Israel, but many were captured by Hezbollah. This success against Israel greatly increased Hezbollah's popularity within Lebanon and the Islamic world.
Consequently, Nasrallah is credited in Lebanon and the Arab world for ending the Israeli occupation of the South of Lebanon, something which has greatly bolstered the party's political standing within Lebanon.
Nasrallah played a major role in a complex prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah in 2004, resulting in hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners being freed and many human remains, including that of his son, being returned to Lebanon. The agreement was described across the Arab world as a magnificent victory for Hezbollah, and Nasrallah was personally praised for achieving these gains.
A December article in the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat stated that command of the organization's military wing was transferred from Nasrallah to his deputy, Na'im Qasim in August 2007. Hezbollah denied this suggestion, declaring it an attempt to "weaken the popularity" of the movement.