The New West Bank Terrorist Group Attacking Israelis and Opposed to the Palestinian Authority

Sept. 29 2022

In the past few weeks, the IDF has killed at least five Palestinians affiliated with a new organization calling itself the Lions’ Den, which has claimed responsibility for repeatedly shooting at the village of Har Bracha, and for attacks on Israeli soldiers. Khaled Abu Toameh explains what is known about this group:

No one knows exactly how many young men have joined the Lions’ Den. It’s also not clear who funds the group. A Palestinian Authority (PA) security source, however, estimated that the group has fewer than 100 gunmen from several Palestinian factions. “These young men have formed a militia that believes in the armed struggle,” said the source. “It’s possible that some factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, give them money to buy weapons.”

[The group’s] members are all in their twenties and belong to the post-second-intifada generation of Palestinians. Some of the gunmen hail from middle-class families and are said to have purchased their weapons with their own money. This is the first organized armed group that consists of gunmen belonging to a number of Palestinian factions—including Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Last week, Palestinian sources revealed that the senior Hamas operative Musab Shtayyeh, who was recently arrested by the Palestinian Authority security forces, was also a member of the Lions’ Den. His arrest triggered fierce clashes between Palestinian protesters and PA security forces in Nablus. One Palestinian was killed and several others were injured in the clashes. Some Fatah activists have accused Hamas of instigating the violence in Nablus.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, West Bank

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship