In Brief: New Palestinian terror factions emerging in the West Bank

Palestinian militant > atphalix, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Recent violence in the West Bank between the IDF and Palestinian militant groups has witnessed small numbers of young Palestinian men take up arms against Israel in defiance of the Palestinian political leadership.

A number of newly emerging groups, many with fluid and overlapping affiliations, have emerged which lack clear ideologies and operate independent of traditional structures and hierarchies.

They are receiving support from more established terror groups, however, as was made evident by the participation of Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters at a ceremony in Jaba, in the northern West Bank, attended by a number of the newfound groups.

These fledgling militias have been a growing focus for Israeli arrests in the past year, with the IDF claiming that the escalations are vital to prevent attacks.

Last week, an Israeli military raid in Nablus sparked a shootout with Palestinian gunmen in which 10 people died. The raid targeted the most prominent of the emerging armed groups, the Lion’s Den.

The growing number of young Palestinian men attracted to these groups are notably too young to remember the fallout from the Second Intifada, when Israel conducted a similar crackdown against militant groups and which has deterred similar violence until recently.