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IDF destroys Lion's Den bomb lab, kills five senior terrorists

Raid follows terror group's threat of ‘agonizing, painful response’ for recent ‘assassination’ of senior leader

The damaged house of Lions' Den member Wadee Al-Houh, which was targeted during a raid by Israeli security forces, in Nablus, Oct. 25, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta)

Israeli security forces killed the chief and four senior members of the recently formed Nablus-based terrorist group Lion’s Den during a Monday night raid of the group’s headquarters. 

On Tuesday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid named the Lion’s Den chief killed in the exchange of fire as Wadee al-Houh. The Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry identified the other slain senior terrorists as Mishaal Zahi Baghdadi, Ali Antar, Hamdi Sharaf and Hamdi Qayyim. 

The P.A. health authorities claimed that more than 20 unspecified individuals were wounded during the IDF raid, and videos published on social media showed riots and violence in the immediate area. 

The Lion’s Den is responsible for leading the recent anti-Israel terror wave that has killed two Israeli soldiers, and Lapid commented Tuesday that “Israel will never be deterred from acting for its security.” 

“Part of this squad are people who hurt Ido Baruch, and the moment they hurt us, IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians, they should know it will end badly,” the prime minister said, referring to Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch, a 21-year-old soldier who was killed in an Oct. 11 shooting attack in Judea-Samaria. 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a statement that indicates there will be no reprieve for those that incite violence against Israelis. 

“There aren’t and won’t be sanctuary cities for terrorists. We will continue to act against anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel, wherever and whenever necessary,” Gantz said. 

The IDF stated that it had carried out the Nablus raid in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency, commonly called Shin Bet.

“A joint force of IDF soldiers, Shin Bet security service agents and anti-terror forces raided a hideaway in Nablus’ old city that was being used as a bomb workshop by central members of Lion’s Den,” the IDF said in an official statement following the operation. 

The Israeli army revealed that the responding forces used shoulder-launched missiles against the bomb-making facility, destroying the site, with a heated response from Palestinian Arabs in the area. 

“During the operation, dozens of Palestinians burned tires and threw stones at troops,” the army said. 

A spokesman for P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement from Ramallah calling Israel’s “continued assaults on Nablus a “war crime.” 

“The occupation government will bear responsibility for their aggression,” said the spokesman, Nabil Rudeineh. 

The major Israeli raid on the terrorist group’s headquarters comes just days after senior Lion’s Den member Tamer al-Kilani was killed in a bomb blast, from an explosive device that an unidentified individual attached to a motorcycle; Lion’s Den blamed Israel for the lethal bombing, calling it an “assassination.” 

Following al-Kilani’s death, Lion’s Den issued a threat to escalate its attacks against the Jewish state: “We promise the occupation and [IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv] Kochavi a severe, agonizing and painful response,” the group’s official statement said. “Today we gave our land the best of our soldiers. The lions will go one after the other, either to victory or to become a martyr.”

The current strike capabilities of Lion’s Den are unclear following this week's operation against the terror group's bomb-making facilities which took out key members of the group. Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh warned on Tuesday that Israel would regret its “crimes” against the terrorist networks, stating that the “blood of the martyrs in Nablus and these sacrifices will only fuel the resistance.”

Israel has accused Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, of financing and organizing the Lion’s Den in Samaria. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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