November 4, 2022 | Flash Brief

Islamic Jihad Militant with Links to the Lions’ Den Killed in West Bank

November 4, 2022 | Flash Brief

Islamic Jihad Militant with Links to the Lions’ Den Killed in West Bank

Latest Developments 

Islamic Jihad militant Farouk Salameh — wanted by Israel for his involvement in the shooting death of an Israeli police commando officer earlier this year — was killed Thursday during an Israeli raid in Jenin in the northern West Bank. Salameh also had ties to the Lions’ Den terrorist group and was suspected by Israel of planning additional attacks against Israelis. FDD’s Long War Journal reported that Israeli officials also suspected that Salameh conspired to secure funding for the Lions’ Den.

Expert Analysis

“There is growing consensus in the Israeli security establishment that Iran-backed terror groups in the West Bank like Islamic Jihad and Hamas are supporting the Lions’ Den’s activities. The IDF is compelled to act to prevent this axis of terror from targeting Israelis and continuing to sow chaos in the West Bank.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and Senior Director of FDD’s National Security Network

The Lions’ Den Receives Support from Hamas

While the Lions’ Den denies coordinating with Iran-backed groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israeli media have reported that Hamas, via operatives in Turkey, provides support and funding for the new terrorist group. Israeli and U.S. officials have confirmed to FDD experts that they believe these reports to be true.

Israel Successfully Targeted the Lions’ Den Leadership in October

In October, Lions’ Den senior leader Tamer al-Kilani was killed in Nablus by an improvised explosive device that detonated when al-Kilani walked by. Although the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not take responsibility for the strike, the Lions’ Den blamed Israel.

Three days later, a founder of the Lions’ Den, Wadee al-Houh, was killed in an IDF raid in Nablus that left five Palestinian gunmen dead and over 20 injured, according to Palestinian health officials. Among the injured was a senior member of the Lions’ Den, Mahmoud al-Bana, who subsequently surrendered to Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces along with other members of the terrorist group.

Future of the Lions’ Den Uncertain

Since the October IDF operations, six members of the Lions’ Den turned themselves in to the custody of the PA and 15 more were reportedly in talks with the PA to follow suit. This could be the beginning of the disarmament of the group, as the PA negotiates with the militants to lay down their weapons in return for their recruitment to the PA security forces.

Related Analysis

Analysis: The Lions’ Den and the Future of Militant Activity in the West Bank,” By Joe Truzman

Israel is Fighting to Prevent a Third Intifada,” By Enia Krivine


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Jihadism Palestinian Politics