PA steps up pressure on gunmen to avoid IDF operation in Nablus

Effort comes after Lions’ Den group urges members to continue attacks on Israelis.

Palestinian youth clash with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron, August 9, 2022. (photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)
Palestinian youth clash with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron, August 9, 2022.
(photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)

The Palestinian Authority is making a big effort to prevent a major IDF operation against gunmen belonging to the Lions’ Den militia in Nablus, a Palestinian official in Ramallah said on Saturday.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said that the PA has informed Israel and other parties that it has stepped up pressure on the gunmen to lay down their weapons and hand themselves over to the Palestinian security forces.

The official expressed fear that an IDF operation against the Lions’ Den gunmen would cause further deterioration of the situation not only in Nablus, but in other parts of the West Bank.

Lions' Den calls for violence

“We believe that it’s not too late to find a solution to the issue of the Lions’ Den,” he said. “It’s our duty to spare our people more bloodshed.”

Despite the PA’s efforts, the Lions’ Den group on Friday called on all gunmen in the West Bank to continue their attacks on Israelis. The group said that it was in touch with its members and gunmen belonging to other Palestinian factions.

 PALESTINIAN GUNMEN from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hold a military parade in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, last week. Israel need not apologize for defending itself against Palestinian terrorist cells, says the writer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) PALESTINIAN GUNMEN from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hold a military parade in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, last week. Israel need not apologize for defending itself against Palestinian terrorist cells, says the writer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

“We affirm to the [Israeli] enemy that the days of rage we declared have not started yet,” the group said in a statement. “We will strike against you in every place, every street and every alleyway.”

The group claimed that it uncovered an Israeli plan to “eliminate” all its members last Thursday, when IDF troops and Jewish worshipers entered Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

“The Lions’ Den discovered the plan after more than 40 vehicles carrying special and undercover forces entered areas from where the enemy thought that our men would emerge,” the group said.