Israel has decided to deny entry permits to 164 family members of activists in the “Lion’s Den” terror group, which is responsible for many shootings in the Shechem area, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced Sunday. The decision was made following a situation assessment conducted by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
The Lions’ Den group launched its operations openly in August. It was founded by Muhammad al-Azizi, who is affiliated with Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, but its several dozen members also include members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Fatah is a member of the PLO, which signed a peace accord with Israel in 1994. The group’s main activity has been carrying out shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria, mainly in the northern Samaria region. Its people usually document the shooting attacks and post them online.
- On October 2 the Lions’ Den carried out a shooting attack on an Israeli taxi and bus at the Bayt Furik intersection. The taxi driver was slightly injured in the attack.
- On the same day, Jews demonstrated at the southeastern entrance to Shechem against the increased Arab terrorist acts, and members of the Lions’ Den fired at the demonstrators and slightly wounded a soldier.
- On October 11, members of the Lions’ Den announced that they were launching three days of increased terrorist operations. On that morning, they carried out a shooting attack near Shavei Shomron, in which a Givati special force fighter was killed. During that day and evening, members of the Lions’ Den carried out 6 additional shooting attacks in the area of Shavei Shomron, Kedumim, and Huwara. There were no casualties in these incidents.
- On the night between October 11 and 12, members of the Lions’ Den carried out two shooting attacks against the Ofer camp and Shuafat checkpoint. There were no casualties in these attacks. There were also exchanges of fire in eastern Jerusalem and Shechem between members of the Lions’ Den and IDF forces.
- On October 12, members of the Lions’ Den carried out two shooting attacks in the early afternoon: one near Kedumim and the other shooting at a bus near Qabatiya. There were no casualties in either incident.
- In the evening of that day, they threatened to harm the worshipers entering Joseph’s tomb in Nablus during the Sukkot holiday. Around 10 PM, Arabs, many of them armed, began to gather near the tomb complex.
- During the night in the Shechem area, there was an exchange of fire between members of the Lions’ Den and IDF forces. Later in the night, members of the Lions’ Den carried out a shooting attack against an IDF checkpoint in the area. Also, during the evening, 3 shooting attacks were carried out near the Mitzpeh Yosef post. In all these incidents there were no casualties.
- On October 13 in the afternoon, the Lions’ Den carried out a shooting attack on the Gilboa crossing. Between 11 PM and midnight, they carried out 3 shooting attacks: from north of Ramallah at the Psagot neighborhood in Jerusalem; and 2 shooting attacks against IDF forces near the entrance to Dotan and Beit Einun. The IDF responded by shooting at the sources of the shooting. There were no casualties in the three incidents.
- On October 14 at around 10:40 PM, 2 members of the Lions’ Den carried out a shooting attack on the settlement of Beit El, and a Jewish man, 25, was slightly wounded by shrapnel inside his sukkah (Israeli Shot in Attack on Sukkah in Beit El, 1 Terrorist Dead). An IDF ambush detected the shooting and killed one of the terrorists, Mujahid Ahmed, 30, with a direct shot in the chest. Another terrorist was seriously wounded and fled to Ramallah and was later captured along with two supporters.
The IDF, Border Guard, and the Shin Bet operated overnight Sunday to arrest six wanted persons throughout Judea and Samaria. In an operation in the area covered by the Yehuda Regional Division in the city of Hebron and in the village of Yatta, three wanted persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities were arrested, and an M-16 rifle and ammunition were seized.