Israel Confronts the Palestinian Lion's Den Militia in the West Bank

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel - September saw more than 34 shooting incidents in the West Bank, the highest number for over a decade. They included firing from afar at settlements, shooting at vehicles on the roads, shooting at IDF positions and bases, and live fire clashes with IDF forces operating in Palestinian cities and villages. The situation is compounded by the helplessness and lack of motivation on the part of the Palestinian security services to prevent attacks; the severe economic situation of young Palestinians who are not working in Israel; and the easy availability and wide distribution of weapons and ammunition. Most of the shooting incidents in the West Bank in recent weeks are attributed to the new Lion's Den militia, which includes dozens of armed activists that are former members of Fatah, Tanzim, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Some are sons of fathers in the Palestinian Authority security services. Lion's Den is apparently supported by funds from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. More than ten Lion's Den activists have been killed in clashes with IDF forces. At least 20 members of the group or their family members are being held by the PA, which seeks to persuade them to abandon the group and accept jobs in the PA security forces. The writer, former head of the Strategic Planning Division in the IDF General Staff, served as Managing Director of INSS for ten years.

2022-10-20 00:00:00

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