Nablus governor advises gunmen to surrender to Palestinian security forces

Senior Palestinian official: PA leadership will not allow a small group of gunmen to drag the Palestinians into a major confrontation with Israel.

 Palestinians clash with Palestinian security forces in Nablus, in the West Bank on September 20, 2022 (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Palestinians clash with Palestinian security forces in Nablus, in the West Bank on September 20, 2022
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

The Palestinian Authority has offered members of the Lions' Den to hand themselves over to the Palestinian security forces and dismantle their armed group, which has been responsible for a spate of shooting attacks on IDF soldiers and Jewish settlers in the Nablus area.

In return, the PA would try to convince Israel to stop pursuing the gunmen.

In the past few days, PA security forces summoned family members of some of the gunmen and advised them to talk their sons into laying down their weapons, Palestinian sources revealed on Wednesday. “The goal is to end the phenomenon of the Lions' Den in order to avoid a disaster in Nablus,” the sources said.

Earlier this week, the sources told The Jerusalem Post that the PA was considering the possibility of calling on the gunmen to surrender to Palestinian security forces. The PA was also studying the possibility of recruiting the gunmen to those security forces.

 Palestinian demonstrators protesting the arrest of two Palestinian militants clash with Palestinian and Israeli security forces, in Nablus on September 20, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN) Palestinian demonstrators protesting the arrest of two Palestinian militants clash with Palestinian and Israeli security forces, in Nablus on September 20, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

A senior Palestinian official told the Post that the PA leadership will not allow a small group of gunmen to drag the Palestinians into a major confrontation with Israel.

“The family members were warned that the activities of their sons could give Israel an excuse to launch a large-scale military operation in Nablus, where many people will be killed or injured,” the sources added.

Nablus governor meets with Lions' Den members

Ibrahim Ramadan, the PA governor of Nablus, revealed on Wednesday that he held a number of meetings with members of the Lions' Den in an attempt to persuade them to surrender to Palestinian security forces.

Ramadan, in an interview with a local Palestinian radio station, said he told the gunmen that the Palestinian security forces would protect them once they complied.

“My offer is still standing if they are hearing me now,” Ramadan said. “If they come, we will protect them. We have no problem. We can reach a solution with the other side [Israel].”

“If they come, we will protect them. We have no problem. We can reach a solution with [Israel]"

Ibrahim Ramadan, PA governor of Nablus

Asked whether the gunmen have accepted or rejected the offer, the governor said, “Some of them said they want to think it over, while others said no. These are young men who don’t realize the true value of their blood. I’m prepared to go now and bring them from the Old City [of Nablus].”

Ramadan says armed attacks are 'useless,' criticizes Palestinian mothers

Ramadan expressed opposition to armed attacks against Israel, saying they were “useless.”

He also criticized Palestinian mothers who sent or encouraged their sons to carry out suicide bombings against Israelis. “There are abnormal mothers who did send their sons,” Ramadan noted. “These are not mothers. No mother sends her son to his death.”

The governor’s criticism of Palestinian mothers drew condemnations from several Palestinians who accused him of “insulting” the mothers of Palestinian “martyrs,” while others called on him to resign.

Lions' Den against Nablus governor's 'offensive' comments

The Lions' Den group, which consists of dozens of gunmen affiliated with various factions, including Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, did not comment on Ramadan’s offer to hand themselves over to the PA security forces.

The group, however, accused the governor of offending the mothers of “martyrs” and urged him to submit his resignation.

“Our message to the mothers of martyrs: We kiss your hands, feet and heads. You are the leaders and we are the soldiers,” the Lions' Den said in a statement.