The increase of security anarchy in the city of Nablus

The security anarchy in the city of Nablus is increasing and the terrorist group Lion's Den has re-adopted the phenomenon of killing those suspected of collaborating with Israel, which was stopped in 2005. The Israeli security establishment and the Fatah movement are concerned about the loss of the PA's legal authority and that the phenomenon will spread to other areas in the West Bank.


Security officials in Israel are very concerned about the spread of security anarchy in the city of Nablus and the fact that it could spread to other parts of the northern West Bank after the PA lost security control in these areas.

For the first time since 2005, the Lion’s Den terrorist group returned to the method that was used by the terrorist groups that operated in the city during the first and second intifadas of murdering Palestinian residents suspected by them of collaborating with Israel, without investigating them in a qualified manner by the security forces of the PA and prosecuting them at an official court of the PA.

Zuheir Ralit, a 23-year-old resident of the Old City of Nablus, was shot and killed on April 9 by members of the Lion’s Den terrorist group after undergoing severe torture. His body was dumped in one of the alleys of the Old City.

 When the PA security forces arrived at the place where the body was found, they were attacked by hundreds of people.

 The residents called them traitors and agents of Israel and they had to disperse the residents with tear gas.

The Lion’s Den group issued a statement that the murdered man is a traitor and that it has detailed documentation of his acts of betrayal and promised to continue pursuing collaborators with Israel.

Later, the group distributed video clips on social networks in which the murdered man told during his interrogation how he was recruited to the Israeli Shin Bet and what tasks he was assigned.

Officials in Nablus claimed that he helped Israel to assassinate the terrorists Muhammad Al-Azizi and Aboud Soubh, the founders of the Lion’s Den group, and also to assassinate Tamer Al-kilani, who was a senior member of the group.

The phenomenon of murdering Palestinian civilians suspected of collaborating with Israel was completely stopped in the West Bank after the election of Mahmoud Abbas in 2005 to the position of chairman of the PA, since then no one has been murdered in Nablus on this basis.

The PA has so far remained silent, but the security officials fear that the phenomenon will increase and spread and further weaken the position of the PA on the Palestinian street, which sympathizes with the murder and supports it.

Senior officials in the Fatah movement say that the Lion’s Den group challenges the Palestinian Authority and violates its sovereign and legal authority, adopting the method of murdering suspected collaborators returns the PA to the period of the first and second intifadas in which dozens of Palestinians were murdered, without trial, after being accused of collaborating with Israel, even though a large part of them did not at all commit the acts attributed to them by the terrorist organizations.

They were murdered because of clan conflicts, personal revenge and an attempt to discourage the Palestinian street from cooperating with Israel.

The renewal of this phenomenon indicates the weakness of the PA and its gradual disintegration, the terrorist group Lion’s Den began to take the law into its own hands and became the arresting body, the investigator, the judge and the executioner of suspects of collaborating with Israel under the nose of the PA.

Sources in Nablus say that the group no longer recognizes the authority of the PA, which aims to disarm it, it feared that the PA would not execute the suspect and therefore did not hand him over to the Palestinian security forces.

According to them, the PA is a signatory to an international treaty that prohibits executions, and because of its security cooperation with Israel, it would eventually release the suspect without any deterrent punishment.

The silence of the PA on this serious incident in Nablus indicates the fear of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of a confrontation with members of the Lion’s Den group, in the Fatah movement they estimate that the other terrorist groups in the cities of Jenin, Tulkarm and the surrounding villages will also start now in the murder of those suspected of collaborating with Israel, something that could degenerate these areas into internal violence, clan conflicts and blood revenge.

The taking of the law to its own hands in the city of Nablus by members of the Lion’s Den group is another step in the city’s deterioration into security anarchy, the Palestinian and international human rights organizations are silent about what happened and the PA stands helpless in the face of this phenomenon due to the weakness of its leader.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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