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Israel: ‘Lion’s Den’ is among ‘dangerous challenges’ facing state

October 18, 2022 at 11:37 am

The Lions’ Den armed group in the old city of Nablus [Lions’ Den/Telegram]

The so-called Lion’s Den armed Palestinian group is among the “dangerous challenges” facing Israel, the Head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle Eastern and African Studies said on Monday. The group was apparently formed in August by former members of various Palestinian factions.

Michael Milstein pointed out that most of the members of the group were born 20 years ago. “This means that they do not remember the Second [Al-Aqsa] Intifada like their fathers.” Indeed, “These youths were the main actors in the knife intifada seven years ago. Now that they are older, they have moved on. They carry firearms and form local groups based on their personal acquaintances.”

Milstein noted that these youths have no affiliation to political parties. “It is the internet which gives them an existential space. However, although the members are very few in number the group has a very wide impact on the Palestinian street, mainly among young people.”

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One of the leaders, he added, is Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi. “He was linked to the Fatah movement and is the son of a member of the Palestinian Authority’s Protective Security Agency.”

According to Milstein, the Lion’s Den poses three challenges to Israel: it continues to harm the Israeli occupation forces and settlers; it has no organisational connections; and “the most dangerous threat” is the possibility of Hamas sponsoring the group, against which the PA has apparently started to take action.

Speaking to All Israel News, Milstein expressed his concern that this resistance phenomenon might move to the mixed cities in Israel. “Right now, the situation is quite limited to the northern parts of the West Bank and to all kinds of independent cells. But I think the last two or three days have shown the potential of this conflict to spread to other places in and outside of the West Bank.”