by Lilach Shoval and Gadi Golan
Military aircraft target underground Hamas infrastructure as arson terrorism spikes, causing 20 fires in communities adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border. Palestinian shot dead after stabbing a policeman in Jerusalem. IDF thwarts terrorist attack near Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.
IDF aircraft struck Hamas posts overnight in response to an escalation in arson terrorism attacks from the Gaza Strip. The military said the strikes targeted underground Hamas infrastructure.
Throughout Monday, Gaza terrorists launched dozens of incendiary balloons into Israel. As a result, 20 fires were sparked in fields in the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regional councils, which are adjacent to the volatile border. No injuries were reported.
Israel has repeatedly stated that as the sovereign in the Strip, Hamas is accountable for these incidents.
The spike in these attacks, which leave large swathes of farmland scorched, has prompted Israel to reasoned by shelling Hamas posts across the coastal enclave, as well as ban Gaza's fishermen from taking to the sea and shut the main commercial crossing into Gaza.
Egyptian mediators arrived in Gaza on Monday in an effort to reduce tensions and prevent a new cross-border conflict between Israel and the Hamas but departed without appearing to have secured a resolution.
Also on Monday, Israeli security forces thwarted a terrorist attack near Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.
"IDF soldiers prevented a terrorist attack near the holy site of Rachel's Tomb in the city of Bethlehem," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit tweeted.
"The troops spotted a terrorist who tried to hurl a Molotov cocktail at the tomb's compound and responded by opening fire. A hit was identified," the tweet read.
The Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that an 18-year-old man had been shot by soldiers manning the guard post in the area.
According to the report, the youth was shot in his right foot and taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition.
On Monday evening, Israeli police officers shot and killed a Palestinian man who stabbed a border policeman in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The officer was taken to a hospital in the capital in moderate condition, Channel 12 News reported.
The assailant was late identified as a 30-year-old resident of the Shuafat neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
Footage released by the Israel Police shows the man walk by border policemen patrolling one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, then pull out a knife and jump the policeman standing closest to him.
A second policeman engaged the terrorist immediately, shooting him, while the others tended to the wounded officer. The terrorist reportedly sustained mortal wounds and died in hospital later on Monday night.
Lilach Shoval and Gadi Golan
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