Weekend long read

1) At the Jerusalem Post, Khaled Abu Toameh looks at the new Palestinian militia called ‘Lions’ Den’.

“No one knows exactly how many young men have joined the Lions’ Den. It’s also not clear who funds the group.

A PA security source, however, estimated that the group has fewer than 100 gunmen from several Palestinian factions. “These young men have formed a militia that believes in the armed struggle,” said the source. “It’s possible that some factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad [IJ], give them money to buy weapons.””

2) The Long War Journal’s Joe Truzman explains how ‘Hamas Operatives in Gaza Continue to Direct Attacks in the West Bank’.

“Much of the unrest in the West Bank can be blamed on the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) inability to effectively control the growing threat of militant organizations. In the West Bank, President Mahmoud Abbas’ approval rating is hovering around 30 percent, while about 70 percent wish to see him step down, according to a poll conducted by The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Iran, including its proxies, are aware of what is happening and are leveraging the PA’s position against it. Led by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other armed groups have frequently clashed with IDF troops and attacked Israeli settlements. Adding to the unrest is the increasing amount of PA security forces’ members launching strikes on IDF troops.”

3) At the Algemeiner, John Hardie and Ivana Stradner discuss Hamas’ recent visit to Moscow.

“A delegation from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, led by Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh, made a multi-day visit to Moscow this month for meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as other Russian officials.

Asharq Al-Awsat cited a source in the Russian capital, presumably from Hamas’ Moscow office, as saying that Haniyeh wanted to solicit Russia’s views on his “new ideas” for confronting Israel. For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

4) WINEP provides analysis of ‘How Iran’s Protests Differ from Past Movements’.

“Since erupting on September 16, Iran’s latest wave of street protests has begun to pose a serious security and political challenge to the Islamic Republic, placing regime leaders in a uniquely puzzling situation. Interestingly, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has not commented on the turmoil, which was ignited by the torture and death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, at the hands of the regime’s morality police (Gasht-e Ershad, or Guidance Patrol), reportedly for disrespecting regulations on wearing a hijab. Yet he and his circle are no doubt concerned about the movement’s novel aspects.”


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