Israeli occupation security services, in collaboration with local agents, assassinated the perceived leader of the Lions’ Den group, Tamer Al-Kilani, may God rest his soul. He was killed on 23 October by an explosive device planted on a motorcycle that could be detonated remotely. It blew up as he passed by.
Who detonated the bomb at the right time? The Israeli media neither talks about this point nor names the perpetrator. Logic suggests that it was either a collaborator on the ground nearby, or a reconnaissance aircraft or drone.
It is likely that it was a collaborator, which is why the Lions’ Den needs to be secure and the perpetrator must be found. The group needs to be more cautious after studying the assassination operation. Indeed, Nablus needs to be more secure; six Palestinians have been killed in the city this week already.
The use of a remotely-detonated explosive device is not a new method of killing Palestinians, as the Israeli newspapers try to claim. As long ago as 1996, Yahya Ayyash was killed in Gaza by a remotely-detonated explosive planted in a mobile phone. In 2006, Israel assassinated Abu Al-Abed Al-Quqa, the leader of the popular committees, with an explosive device placed in a car on the road that he passed through on his way to the mosque. This old-new method depends on two elements for its success: the local agent, and careful intelligence and monitoring of the target, with information being updated immediately.The danger of this act for the Palestinians is that it does not leave a clear perpetrator’s fingerprint, and the enemy can hide its responsibility under a flood of false allegations that help it to do so. At the same time, there is no confrontation with the popular base of the Lions’ Den, so it avoids the popular reactions that usually pave the way for major uprisings. The message that assassinations send to other resistance fighters is clear, and it restricts their freedom of movement. This is a valuable gain for the enemy and its government, especially when the decision is to postpone a major invasion to a later date.
By assassinating individuals, the enemy weakens the Lions’ Den and reduces its attractiveness to Palestinians. It also protects the Palestinian Authority from possible collapse during a large-scale raid.
However, none of this will make the illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem any safer or more secure. Israel has assassinated many influential figures in Gaza and in the West Bank as well, and they are simply replaced. The resistance has not been ended by Israeli assassinations; it has been renewed. Resistance goes hand in hand with occupation and colonialism. It will not end until the occupation ends.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Felesteen on 25 October 2022 and was edited for MEMO
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.