Israel To Continue Assassinations In West Bank

12:00 Oct 24 2022 Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT): Jerusalem and West Bank

Israel To Continue Assassinations In West Bank Israel To Continue Assassinations In West Bank Israel To Continue Assassinations In West Bank
Screenshot. Source: unknown Published by IMEMC News

Lion's Den gunmen pray during the funeral of their comrade Tamer Al-Kilani, who was killed in an explosion, in Nablus in the West Bank Sunday. Credit: REUTERS/Raneen Sawafa Published by Haaretz

Palestinians gather around the motorcycle that Palestinian militant group Lion's Den says was planted with an explosive device, killing one of its top fighters, Tamer Al-Kilani, as he walked past, in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday. Credit: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed Published by Haaretz

by IMEMC News
Oct 24, 2022

An Israeli report revealed that the military and security leaderships in the country have decided to alter their operations strategies by resuming the assassinations of Palestinian resistance fighters in several parts of the occupied West Bank, especially in Nablus.

On Sunday morning, a Palestinian resistance fighter and a prominent member of the Lions’ Den in Nablus, in the northern West Bank, Tamer Zeid al-Kilani, 33, was assassinated by an explosive charge in a motorcycle.

While Israel has not officially declared it was behind his death, a report by Israel’s Channel 12 stated that the method of assassination is that of the Israeli Security Agency – Shabak, and added that this indicates a shift in Israel’s policies in dealing with Palestinian fighters after Israel ceased the targeted killings of Palestinian fighters and political leaders in the West Bank, more than fifteen years ago.

Furthermore, Israel’s Prime Minister and the Defense Minister have approved a recommendation by the Shabak in the methods used to counter and try to eliminate “Lion’s Den” fighters.

The Israeli report also revealed that Israel’s military leadership believes that there is a need for more assassinations, especially in Nablus.

Various Israeli reports revealed that the Shabak head provided his recommendations to the political leadership in the country to conduct more assassinations against Lions’ Den fighters, likely in the coming few days.

Also, Israel decided to increase the security alert levels and readiness, anticipating retaliatory attacks, especially after the assassination of Al-Kilani.

Israeli Security Officials: Targeted Assassination of Militants Could Strengthen Lion’s Den in West Bank

If Israel is behind the killing of a militant from the organization, then this would be the first assassination Israel's security forces carried out in the West Bank in more than 20 years

by Yaniv Kubovich for Haaretz
Oct 24, 2022

Israel is not commenting on the circumstances around the death of a senior member of the Palestinian militant group Lion's Den, who was killed Sunday when walking past a motorcycle that blew up in the West Bank city of Nablus.

The organization has accused Israel of killing Tamer Al-Kilani, claiming that it was carried out with local assistance. If Israel is behind Al-Kilani's death, then this would be the first assassination Israel's security forces carried out in the West Bank in more than 20 years.

Lion's Den has been responsible for numerous shooting attacks in the Nablus area in recent months, becoming a major problem for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Security officials believe that the group is made up of former members of various Palestinian militant organizations, and ongoing Israeli operations in the area led them to rebrand under the name “Lion’s Den.”

The organization is active in the Nablus area, mainly in the old city and the Balata refugee camp, with their declared goal being to confront Israeli soldiers who enter the city and when soldiers guard Jewish worshipers at Joseph's Tomb.

Lion's Den members have been killed in exchanges of fire with Israeli forces who came to arrest them in Nablus. The assassination on Sunday is exceptional because it would require prior approval by government officials.

Israeli security officials are divided over how to respond to Lion’s Den with some security sources having recently expressed concern that assassinations of these militants in the West Bank could increase their strength and magnify the legend surrounding those that would be killed. In contrast, some political opposition figures have said over the past few months that Israel should use drones to carry out assassinations from the air, as in Gaza.

Some media outlets have reported that the army had considered using drones in a number of actions in the West Bank. For example, at the end of last month, Channel 12 reported that during an operation in Jenin in which four Palestinians were killed, the army was a “small step” away from using drones for aerial assassination.

Nevertheless, security sources say that so far the issue has not been brought before government officials for approval. The sources added that in closed meetings in recent weeks, officials cited legal issues within international law that impede such assassinations in the West Bank, as opposed to the Gaza Strip. Concerns were also brought up that using drones in densely populated areas of the West Bank could lead to harming non-combatants.

Security officials also discussed the costs and benefits of maintaining the closure of the roads into Nablus the army put into place October 12. There are currently three outlets from the city manned by checkpoints after the army assessed that a majority of those responsible for shootings in the West Bank in the previous week came and fled from Nablus.

However, the security establishment is concerned that maintaining the closure will frustrate the city's residents making them clash with soldiers. Security officials worry that clashes of this kind could spread throughout the West Bank, and so they are working to help Palestinian security forces retake control of the city.

The security sources said that the PA’s forces can retake control of Nablus only after a number of Lion’s Den activists are taken out to weaken the organization.
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