Lion’s Den announced in a statement that Tamer Kilani, a top member of the upstart organization, lost his life in an apparent assassination in the early hours of Sunday.
The statement added that an explosive device attached to a motorcycle detonated in the Old City of Nablus, located approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of al-Quds, as Kilani was passing by.
Lion’s Den likened Kilani’s assassination to that of the two Palestinian resistance fighters, al-Nani Jawabra and Bassem Abu Sariya. They were assassinated in two separate explosions during the Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
The Palestinian resistance group also threatened a “painful response,” and called on the public to attend Kilani’s funeral later on Sunday.
Video footage showing the blast was circulating on social media, as was a clip purported to show an Israeli “collaborator” planting the bomb.
Lion’s Den has claimed responsibility for most shooting attacks in the Nablus area since it was formed in August by members of various Palestinian resistance groups, including people previously affiliated with the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and the Islamic Jihad, among others.
Lion’s Den members reportedly do not wait for Israeli troops to come to them, instead, they head outside of the Nablus Old City on an almost nightly basis and attack Israeli targets in the area, before managing to flee back unscathed, almost every time.
The Israeli army has imposed a strict siege on Nablus since October 11, blocking the city’s entrances with military checkpoints and earth mounds, while Israeli drones constantly hover over the northern West Bank city.
The siege came in the wake of a shooting attack carried out by the Lion’s Den group near Nablus in which an Israeli soldier was killed.
The siege, which Israeli officials said will continue until further notice, has had economic repercussions on a city that has a particular industrial and commercial importance for the West Bank.
Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.
At least 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the illegally occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year, including 51 Palestinians during Israel’s three-day assault on Gaza in August, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.