The Palestinian security forces have arrested a lawyer on suspicion of funding the Nablus-based Lions’ Den armed group, which has claimed responsibility for a series of shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The Palestinian Bar Association identified the lawyer as 36-year-old Dorgham Khairy Samaana. It said he was arrested on January 29 after being summoned for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah.
In September 2022, the Palestinian security forces arrested Hamas operative Mosab Shtayyeh on similar charges. The arrest sparked clashes between Palestinian protesters and PA security forces in Nablus. One Palestinian was killed and several injured during the confrontations.
Statement by the Bar Association
The Palestinian Bar Association said in a statement on Friday night that Samaana was arrested after he received a "documented consignment" from a gold merchant, whose identity was not revealed.
Samaana’s mobile phone was seized and he was prevented from notifying the Palestinian Bar Association of his arrest, the statement said. The lawyer is being held in solitary confinement and is being deprived of medical care, it added.
“The investigation is focused on the Palestinian resistance in Nablus (Lions' Den) and Hamas and their connection to dealing with gold,” the Palestinian Bar Association revealed. “He has denied the charge and remains in arbitrary detention in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law.”
According to the Palestinian Bar Association, Samaana was interrogated several times regarding the financing of the Lions’ Den group and the illegal possession of a weapon.
The Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website reported on Saturday that Samaana has been working as a "consultant in the field of precious metals" for the past decade. It said he went on a 36-hour hunger strike in protest of his arrest. However, he denied being tortured or mistreated by his interrogators.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said the lawyer was questioned about his relations with members of the Lions’ Den, including Wadee al-Houh, one of the commanders of the group who was killed by the Israeli security forces in Nablus in October 2022.