A new terror group has emerged in the West Bank, and they are mixing traditional guerilla warfare tactics with the longstanding inhumanity of Palestinian terrorism. They are dangerous, organized and their actions may very well spark a Third Intifada.

Who Are The Lion’s Den?

As early as mid-August, The Lion’s Den (TLD) became known to the West as a result of Palestinian media reports and a rally the group held for two terrorists killed fighting with Israeli forces operating in Judea and Samaria. Since then, the terrorist group has engaged in several shooting and IED attacks against Israelis, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding innocent civilians. And in early September, the Israeli National Police apprehended a TLD-affiliated terrorist seeking to commit a significant terror attack in Tel Aviv. When he was arrested, the terrorist was carrying a rifle and two IED’s.

The Israeli security establishment believes TLD is made up of a few dozen terrorists, many of whom were formally affiliated with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. The Israelis likely know a great deal more about the group as they’ve both engaged in military operations against the group and have ensured that well over 100 relatives of the terrorists are not allowed entry into Israel.

A Third Intifada?

A small group of hyper-radicalized murderers with access to weapons and possessing a moderate level of tactical sophistication, poses a threat not just to the individuals they would seek to kill, but to the relative stability of recent years in Judea and Samaria. While the West Bank has seen flair-ups, TLD seems clearly fixated on clashing with Israelis as much as possible in order to pour gasoline onto the flames of hatred towards Jews that exist amongst the increasingly radicalized Palestinian population.

Young Palestinians, who often make up the ranks of terror organizations, were not alive during the First Intifada and do not remember the Second. They may be aware that thousands died during these conflicts, but they do not have the tragic wisdom that comes with having experienced true conflict. From a young age, it is highly likely that this group, like most Palestinian of younger generations, has been fed a steady diet of antisemitism and dehumanization of anyone who does not view the world as they do. They view war and death as glorious. They do not believe in the inherent value of human life. And their existence as a terrorist group is the natural outgrowth of years of Palestinian indoctrination into an ethos in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself is their reason for existence. Put simply, they have been brainwashed.

Such hatred, such an affinity for violence, and such a love affair with the false glory of war, mixed into a Palestinian society betrayed by their leaders for generations, creates the right environment for a third Palestinian war of terror against Israel.

Where is Abbas?

Well, the literal answer to the above question is that he’s probably in his $13 million dollar mansion in Ramallah. But the more important point is that TLD is coming along at a time when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is less and less of a factor in the West Bank. Simply put, everyone from TLD to Hamas is just waiting on Abbas to die so they can try to take over the West Bank and remake the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in their image.

Abbas has done nothing good for his people and has caused them to mistrust the PA. In addition to rampant corruption (see our earlier comment about the mansion), Abbas has encouraged terrorism through payments to so-called martyrs’ families and has retained his seat of power well beyond his original 4-year term. Moreover, Abbas’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, recently showed up to a “mourning tent” for Palestinian terrorists killed while fighting with Israeli soldiers. Photos of the event show Shtayyeh standing alongside a hodgepodge of masked, armed terrorists.

The present situation leaves Israel with few – if any – options. The Israelis have a right and responsibility to protect their people from all enemies, including this new, ruthless band of militants. And the Israelis can, and will, contend with them. Through intelligence, technology, and sheer force of will, Israel will prevail, just as she has since her founding. But we must play our role as well.

Every time Israel roots out terrorists, especially as Israeli operations begin to achieve strategic gains, the international community, and some in Congress, begin howling for a cease-fire. As always, we will be there, not to promote conflict (quite the opposite), but rather, we will play our part by ensuring the Jewish state has the geopolitical space necessary to degrade the terrorist threat, thereby saving countless innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives.


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