Newly established West Bank militant organization claims multiple attacks

A fledgling Palestinian militant organization called The Lion’s Den (TLD) was established in the West Bank and released statements of shooting attacks against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops.

In late August, TLD issued its first official statement claiming responsibility for an armed clash against IDF soldiers in the Palestinian village of Rugib, located in the West Bank. However, the Palestinian media reported on the group’s activities on August 15.

A few days later, the organization held what appears to be its first rally in honor of two militants who were killed in late July during an armed clash with IDF troops operating in Nablus.

Over the following weeks, TLD repeatedly claimed responsibility for shooting at IDF soldiers operating in Balata camp, al-Ain camp, and detonating an IED inside. of Har Braha, south of Nablus.

On September 9, Israeli police foiled a large-scale terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv. The budding terrorist was apprehended when he aroused the suspicions of the police. After his arrest, a rifle, two IEDs and a bandana bearing the logo of TLD was found on his person.

FDD Long War Diary contacted an Israel Police spokesperson for further information on the suspect’s possible affiliation with TLD and was informed that the investigation was being conducted by the General Security Services (Shin Bet), which prevented the spokesperson to comment on the case.

Finally, Tuesday morning, TLD published a statement and documents claiming responsibility for a shooting attack on the settlement of Har Braha near Nablus.

Not much is known about the background of the organization. However, the Dheisheh camp, located south of Bethlehem, has often been referred to as “the lion’s den”, suggesting that the group may have originally been founded by members of the camp. Additionally, it remains unclear whether TLD is a splinter organization from an established militant group such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. However, some clues suggest their affiliation with the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

On several occasions, TLD has published its logo with the photo of two militants killed in late July, Muhammed al-Azizi and Abdul Subh, both members of the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Additionally, TLD said in a statement released on September 3 that Azizi and Subh were its founding members. Evidence suggests that TLD follows the same pattern as other sub-groups that have been formed this year that are affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The power of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in pockets of the West Bank has weakened over time, leading militant organizations to strengthen their positions and expand their activities in a handful of Palestinian towns. While militant activity has not grown to the level it was during the Second Intifada, the growing trend of violence presents a significant challenge that will likely continue unless major changes are implemented by the IDF and the military. ‘AP.

Joe Truzman is a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.

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Key words: Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, IDF, Israel, PIJ, The Lion’s Den, West Bank

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