Sunday 29 January 2023

The Lion's Den:
Israel's nightmare

Sirous Shirzad

Tehran (Qodsna)- The Lion's Den is a fast-growing West Bank resistance movement compromised of a youthful generation. Its slogan is clear: al-Quds is the red line. 


On 11 October, Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli trooper near the illegal Jewish settlement of Shavei Shomron, west of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. On the same day, masked men opened fire on four other Israeli targets on the outskirts of the city.


A total of five operations were carried out in one day, reportedly by the recently established resistance faction called the Lion’s Den (Areen Al-Osood) who claimed responsibility for them.


On Sunday, an unusual top level security meeting was held in Israel, on the eve of a national festival, which included Prime Minister Yair Lapid, alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, National Security Council Chairman Eyal Hulata, Mossad Chief David Barnea, Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar, and Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Haliva, according to Israeli media reports.


The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new West Bank resistance phenomenon, the Lion’s Den, which Haaretz calls a “major headache” for the Israeli state.


It has exceeded expectations with its operations. And its forces have been able to confuse Israeli calculations from the moment they began to draw the tales of a revolution with qualitative resistance; spreading hope quickly into the hearts of Palestinians living under a brutal Israeli military occupation.


Its members do not remember the first intifada but began their resistance with stones and Molotov cocktails in a similar fashion to the first intifada. Now they are armed, wear a military uniform, the guns in their possession are only fired for a specific purpose, which is the Israeli occupation, its forces and settlers. And they are changing the equation on the ground.


Just as the Jenin battalion before it, the Lion's Den has a new battalion that rose from the old city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. After carrying out a series of retaliatory operations targeting the Israeli occupation soldiers while officially declaring that the arrogance the regime's genocidal campaign triggered them to engage in battles that the Israeli occupation will be forced to expect but cannot read its military dimension and the nature of the operations in advance.


What confuses Israel the most at this moment in time is the dramatic escalation of the type of Palestinian resistance operations against the occupation soldiers and settlers. In an accurate statistics published by the Palestinian Information Center, it has been revealed that the occupied West Bank towns and villages witnessed 833 acts of resistance last September.


These have varied from throwing stones, and according to the regime suspected stabbing attacks with knives and the use of cars to ram the occupation forces. But most notably are the armed operations, using firearms to target regime troops and planting or throwing explosive devices, which has led to the killing of an Israeli officer and the injury of 49 others, some of them seriously, while the first half of this month witnessed resistance operations that led to several Israeli soldiers killed and 42 others wounded, some of them left in serious conditions.


On the other hand, the Israeli occupation forces have murdered more than 120 Palestinians, this year alone. The majority of them since March. Among the dead are children, women, the elderly, journalists and even doctors that have tried to attend to the wounded on the battlefield.


Apart from the murders, tens of thousands of Palestinians have sustained injuries this year during the Israeli invasions of occupied West Bank towns and villages.


The two aspects of anxiety and confusion among Israeli military officials, as a result of the resistance operations by the Lion's Den, as expressed by Israeli news outlets, (which described its members as the new resistance fighters, or as the third-generation fighters) in the West Bank, is that that they are considered the most dangerous to the security of Israel.


Israeli media say the occupation army is beginning to clash with a different type of resistance. They are distinguished by being the most daring and courageous youth in the West Bank. And they seek confrontation while refusing to surrender until martyrdom. Their members also do not care about revealing their personalities on social media platforms and have no affiliation to any particular political party.


The fear in Israel is if more well-known Palestinian groups begin to arm and back the group. The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement has already called on all armed Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, who possess firearms, to direct their arms at the occupation soldiers in defense of the al-Aqsa.


When analyzing recent events in the occupied West Bank and occupied al-Quds, several important factors stand out, all of which give an indication that the West Bank resistance, gradually increasing, is creating a scenario of the outbreak of a new armed intifada against the Israeli regime. This is dominating the news in the occupied West Bank and occupied al-Quds, for several reasons:


The West Bank is currently Israel’s weakest security front, since it is not easy for the regime to control the situation should an intifada erupt at a time when it is witnessing a state of security fragility. The occupation, with all its predawn military raids, is no longer able to impose its control in the face of escalating armed resistance by unknown groups and sole commandos.


The uptick in West Bank resistance is due to the failure of Israel’s strategies over the past years to pursue, suppress and intimate the Palestinians into leaving their homeland.


On the contrary, the unprecedented expansion of settlements and violations in al-Quds has contributed to the increase of Palestinian youth joining the resistance battalions, most notably the Lion's Den Brigade. These strategic mistakes by Israel also reinforced previous statistics that reflect real numbers in the growth of the resistance.


The entry and participation of new generations of Palestinian youth in a series of resistance operations against the occupation soldiers, means that the future of the resistance in the West Bank is moving in an upward curve and is not under Israeli control, which has left the occupation deeply frustrated at its failure.


Statistics published by the Palestinian Information Center explain that the state of the resistance, in the long term, is capable of changing the equation of the conflict in the occupied West Bank, for the benefit of the Palestinian people and their resistance, and that the battle with the Israeli occupation can only be resolved through armed resistance and the continuation of this state of engagement by all means.


The state of resistance imposed by the Lion's Den battalion made it form a strong equation in the struggle with the occupation, and was able to tip the scales after it succeeded in changing the security of the occupation army and its settlers into a state of fear; this was prominent in its recent operations.


The difference between the resistance is that Palestinians target Israeli military personnel and settlers who are reservists in the army. The Israeli regime's killing spree does not differentiate between an armed resistance fighter and a 12-year-old boy.


The phenomenon of The Lion's Den, which took it upon itself to escalate the resistance with a strategy of surprise attacks as the best means of defense, has become a headache for Israel and led to security anxiety for its occupation soldiers.


It is clear that the Lion's Den is working according to a conscious and visionary strategy for the continuation of  the West Bank resistance that ensures the expansion of the idea of armed struggle. It has gained the popularity to expand across the West Bank and ignite the occupied region into a volcano for Israel.


The Lion's Den" succeeded in establishing a massive Palestinian revolution and building a popular incubator for it among the youth, and such a phenomenon is an extension of a long history of Palestinian heroism in resisting the Israeli occupation and its settlers.


The failure of the Israeli occupation to neutralize the dangers and threats and to determine the type of youth who join the resistance, its formations, the areas from which they embark on missions, and the environments that support it, reflects the success of the Lion's Den as a model of Palestinian resistance. 


The regime's failure to follow up on monitoring their movement, reflects its state of confusion and security failure. Among the regime's latest desperate effort to fight the Lion's Den was to demand the closure of the group's social media platforms.


The Lion's Den has restored hope among the West Bank Palestinians. Despite its recent formation, it has afflicted the Israeli occupation and hit its security system in a non-operational killing method. It has become a nightmare for the occupation leaders, and made them end the bewilderment and helplessness for Palestinian youth who now have a desire and will to fight. They look forward to freedom and liberation.



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