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Lions' Den

The Lions’ Den is a loosely organized secular terror group based in Samaria which Ramallah can’t rein in and Hamas is trying to co-opt.

By Pesach Benson, United with Israel

A new Palestinian terror group called the Lions’ Den is emerging as responsible for a number of shooting attacks in Samaria. The Palestinian Authority has been unable to rein in the Shechem (Nablus)-based group while Hamas is actively trying to co-opt it.

The Lions’ Den most recently claimed responsibility for the murder of 1st Sergeant Ido Baruch in a shooting attack near Shavei Shomron on Tuesday.

According to Haaretz, the Lions’ Den is mostly made up of young, secular Palestinians, many of whom had been associated with other political or terror factions, including Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“There is no operations room in the military sense or formal plans or targets,” one of the members told Haaretz. He said the terror group does not carry out ambitious operations like Hamas and generally limits its activities to Shechem (Nablus) and the surrounding area.

It’s not known who funds Lions’ Den. The Jerusalem Post reported many of its members are “from middle-class families and are said to have purchased their weapons with their own money.”

The source told Haaretz the group coalesced in response to a surge of IDF counter-terror operations.

The IDF launched Operation Wave Breaker following a series of Palestinian terror attacks in the spring that killed 19 people. The IDF doubled its presence in Judea and Samaria and has staged frequent raids on terror suspects. In five months, Israeli security forces have arrested more than 1,600 terror suspects and foiled hundreds of attacks.

The terror group bills itself as protecting Shechem and Joseph’s Tomb from Israeli forces. In September, the IDF suspended Jewish visits to Joseph’s Tomb citing the deteriorating security situation.

According to Haaretz, the Palestinian Authority has been unable to crack down on Lions’ Den because so many of its members are former Fatah people rebelling against Mahmoud Abbas. Further, it enjoys Palestinian popularity and legitimacy for “protecting Nablus and Joseph’s Tomb from Israeli forces.”

As a result, the terror group scored popularity points by recently rejecting a PA demand that Lions’ Den members lay down their weapons and integrate themselves into the PA security services.

Hamas, which has not been able to build up its presence in Judea and Samaria, is using Lions’ Den as P.R. “subcontractors,” according to Haaretz. Hamas reportedly compensates Lions’ Den members for propaganda videos posted on social media, particularly TikTok.

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