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More than 200 Palestinians killed in 2023 as Israel detains Lion's Den leader

The spike in Israeli raids and settler attacks this year in the West Bank has killed more than 200 Palestinians and displaced more than 1,000 herders from their land.
A Palestinian man flashes the victory sign as he faces an Israeli military vehicle, during a raid on the occupied-West Bank city of Nablus, February 22, 2023.

Israeli security forces arrested a prominent leader of the Palestinian Lion’s Den during an operation in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday. The arrest comes as a United Nations report revealed that over 200 Palestinians have been killed so far this year. 

According to local reports, undercover Israeli forces, backed by military reinforcements, entered the city a little after midnight and arrested Khaled Tabila, known as “Al-Baladi,” after besieging and bombing his house in Rafidia, in the western part of Nablus. The local Al-Aqsa radio station reported that Tabila had been injured in the raid.  

Violent clashes erupted during the operation, as residents threw homemade explosives at the soldiers, and the Israeli military fired tear gas and live bullets at the crowds. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said 141 people were injured in the clashes, including eight who were hospitalized and 130 who suffered the effects of suffocation.

Tabila is one of the founders of the Lion’s Den, an armed group that emerged last summer in Nablus amid increasing Israeli attacks on the West Bank. He reportedly joined his first armed outfit about two years ago, and before that had been a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard.

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