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US sanctions Palestinian Lion's Den armed group in West Bank

The group emerged in 2022 amid an uptick of violence between Palestinians and settlers in Nablus
Palestinians Hamas militants wearing headbands reading in Arabic "the Lion's Den", in reference to the Nablus based Lion's Den armed group, march in support of the group in Gaza City on Dec. 10, 2022.

WASHINGTON — The US State Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on the Lion’s Den, an armed Palestinian group accused of attacking Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus. According to the department, fighters from the Lion’s Den killed and injured Palestinian civilians during clashes in September 2022 with the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces in Nablus. 

Following the clash with the PA, the group claimed responsibility for several drive-by shootings in the Nablus area. More recently, Palestinian media reported that Lions’ Den targeted Israeli forces with small arms at an Israeli checkpoint in Nablus in April. 

“The United States condemns any and all acts of violence committed in the West Bank, whoever the perpetrators,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. “We will use the tools at our disposal to expose and hold accountable those who threaten peace and stability there,” Miller said. 

The Lions’ Den emerged in 2022 amid an uptick of violence between Palestinians and settlers in Nablus. The United Nations’ humanitarian arm says more than 500 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since Oct. 7 of last year.

As Al-Monitor reported in 2022, Israel’s security services have accused Hamas officials in Turkey of providing money and weapons to the Lion’s Den. Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Lion’s Den members expressing support for Mohammed al-Deif, the leader of Hamas’ military wing.