Israeli forces arrest leader of Palestinian Lions’ Den group in West Bank raid

The New Arab  /  September 22, 2023

Israeli forces have arrested one of the leaders of the Palestinian armed group the Lions’ Den (or Areen al-Ossud in Arabic), Khaled Tabila, according to a report by The New Arab’s Arabic language sister site Al-Araby al-Jadeed on Friday.

Before his arrest, Tabila – also known as “Al-Baladi”, was besieged in his home in Rafidia area west of Nablus city, northern West Bank, during an early morning raid, Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported.

The Israeli military raid began with the infiltration of undercover agents backed by military reinforcements, who invaded Nablus, setting up several military checkpoints until they reached Tabila’s house, the report said.

Tabila, in his 30s, is one of the founders of the the Lions’ Den. He was a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard before joining armed Palestinian groups two years ago.

Israeli forces have escalated raids into Palestinian cities since late 2021 as confrontations with Palestinians spiked.

In March 2022, the Israeli army launched operation ‘Break the Wave’ with the aim of crushing growing armed resistance, particularly in Nablus and Jenin, by carrying out near-daily raids, killings and arrests in the two northern West Bank cities.

In July, Israeli forces raided Jenin for 48 hours, destroying most of its infrastructure, killing ten Palestinians and forcing around 3,000 Palestinians to leave their homes.

Separately, a Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli forces early on Friday in the town of Kafr Dan in the Jenin, northern West Bank.

The boy was identified as 16-year-old Abdullah Imad Abu al-Hassan from the town of Yamoun, west of Jenin, local sources told Al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Since the beginning of 2023, Israeli forces have killed more than 200 Palestinians during deadly raids into occupied West Bank cities and refugee camps and have arrested more than 3,600.