IDF troops come under fire near Nablus; Lion’s Den claims responsibility

Military says soldiers scanning area of shooting in northern West Bank were also shot at; attacks raise concerns Nablus-based terror group re-establishing itself

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early December 20, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early December 20, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops came under fire in two separate instances near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday night, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian gunmen first fired at a military post near Nablus, without causing any injuries.

The IDF said that during scans in the area following the attack, troops came under fire again.

Troops returned fire toward the source of the shooting, the IDF added.

No soldiers were hurt in the second attack either, according to the military.

The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group claimed responsibility for both attacks, publishing unclear videos purporting to show the moment of the shootings.

After many senior members of Lion’s Den were killed or arrested by Israel in recent weeks, and others turned themselves in to the Palestinian Authority, Tuesday’s shootings raised concerns that the group was beginning to re-establish itself after a short lull in attacks.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen, mostly Lion’s Den members, have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

The attacks came during an Israeli anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 31 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left 169 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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