In recent months, a new Palestinian terrorist organisation emerged and carried out numerous shooting attacks against Israelis. What is this new terror faction and should we be concerned?

You may have heard about various Palestinian gunmen carrying out shooting attacks against Israelis, particularly against IDF forces on patrol. A number of these attacks have been claimed by a group called Areen al-Usood (Lion’s Den).

Lion’s Den stands alone as its own group, but there is a twist. It appears Lion’s Den is not simply a faction by itself, but a coalition of terrorists from several groups working together for a common cause.

The group began gaining traction on social media for posting videos of its shooting attacks on soldiers and Israeli civilians. These attacks were carried out by members and affiliates of various terror groups or Palestinian security forces, but Lion’s Den was the only terror group to claim responsibility for the attacks.

Each terror attack had similarities. Each one was a shooting attack. All the gunmen lived in the West Bank and they were all in their 20s, belonging to the post-Second Intifada generation of Palestinians.

Lion’s Den is the first organised armed group that consists of gunmen belonging to a number of different Palestinian factions, including Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The group is in its infancy and details of its leadership and numbers are currently unknown, but the Palestinian Authority estimates that there are less than 100 members.

Last month, however, there was a demonstration on the streets of Jenin, a Palestinian town in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), where armed members of Lion’s Den joined together in a show of force.

They were protesting the arrest of one of their leading members by the Palestinian Authority. And there were more than 100 people in attendance, many of whom were heavily armed with dozen’s of Lion’s Den gunmen dressed in black uniforms and carrying M-16 rifles. Speakers praised the “martyrs” of the Lion’s Den and called for more to pursue the armed struggle against Israel.

Surprisingly, a masked spokesperson for the group expressed an alliance and cooperation between the various Palestinian factions. He then praised the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, the slain Hamas terror leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the former PFLP terror leader Abu Ali Mustafa and the PIJ’s fallen leader Fathi Shaqaqi.

Another difference for Lion’s Den is their insistence in only using their bullets towards “the occupation”. This was on display at the rally with many having the tips of their rifles adorned with red ribbons.

Lion’s Den has said they are not focused on the Palestinian Authority, even though their protest was against the PA’s arrest of one of its members, but instead, they were protesting peacefully and would only use their bullets against Israel.

Additionally, they said they wouldn’t waste bullets and shoot into the air as some terror groups do, such as during rallies or at funerals – often drawing the ire of Palestinians who are concerned about safety.

Lion’s Den is clear in its message: “Our bullets are directed only towards the IDF and settlers.”

“Shooting into the air is a deviation from the national path,” the spokesman explained.

Ultimately Lion’s Den is a merging of radicals from various terror factions within the Palestinian Territories who want to escalate violence against Israel. Their attacks are increasing in frequency and will likely gain traction as they publicise their efforts to the Palestinian people.

Likewise, it is more likely harder for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to control this group as the group’s leaders are more illusive and they have managed to coerce individuals from other factions who are willing to work outside the parameters of their own terror groups and carry out attacks under the umbrella of ‘Lion’s Den’.

We must continue to pray for Israel and the Jewish people who are the victims of radical Islamist terrorists.

Interestingly, the name Lion’s Den conjures up images of Daniel and the Lion’s Den from the Bible. There we read how Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s Den after he was caught praying to God. However, instead of being killed, Daniel was protected by an angel sent by God.

Daniel 6:22 – “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”

May God send His angels once again to protect Israel from this Lion’s Den. May the lion’s mouths be closed and their evil plans come to nothing.

We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

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