Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
IDF soldier guards the entrance to Shechem (Nablus). Oct. 26, 2022

Another senior official in the Shechem-based “Lion’s Den” terrorist organization turned himself in to the Palestinian Authority on Monday rather than face Israeli military forces, Arab media reported.

The move effectively protected Muhammad Tabanja from arrest by the Israel Defense Forces. At least four other members of the terrorist group did the same earlier in the week following Israeli military operations in Shechem’s Kasbah market.

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Among the group who surrendered to the Palestinian Authority was Mahmoud al-Bana, a senior official in the terrorist group who was wounded in an Israeli raid early last Tuesday.

During that raid, Israeli forces killed the alleged leader of the “Lion’s Den” group and four other gunmen. In addition, the forces destroyed a bomb-making factory.

Earlier last week, senior Lion’s Den terrorist Tamer Kilani was killed in an explosion that blew up his motorcycle at 1:30 am. The terrorist group accused Israel of carrying out a targeted assassination and vowed a “painful response.”

Last Wednesday, however, IDF and Shin Bet forces carried out additional raids in Shechem, arresting three operatives belonging to the terrorist group.

“The forces apprehended Muhammad Al-Nabulsi, the brother of Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi (a terrorist who was targeted and killed by Israeli security forces in August),” the IDF said in a statement about the operation.

“Muhammad Al-Nabulsi was suspected of possessing weapons, manufacturing explosive devices and involvement in the “Lion’s Den” terrorist group.

“An additional individual was apprehended who is suspected of involvement in the shooting attack in the town of Huwara on September 19, 2022, during which a terrorist shot from a passing vehicle at an Israeli vehicle,” the IDF said.

“Furthermore, an additional “Lion’s Den” terrorist group operative was apprehended, who had in his possession weapons, an illegal handgun and an improvised weapon,” the IDF added.

Israeli forces have been operating nearly every night since the summer to “break the wave” of terrorism that skyrocketed this past March and April with the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.