Israeli police and security forces were on high alert Monday for possible Palestinian terror attempts as Muslims mark the first anniversary of the death of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat, and to avenge the killing on Sunday of an Islamic Jihad commander wanted for masterminding last week's deadly suicide bombing in Hadera.
Islamic Jihad resumed Qassam rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel on Sunday evening, following the shoot-out with Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the West Bank town of Qabatiyah, near Jenin. Three Islamic Jihad members were killed in the clash. One of them is believed to have ordered the suicide bombing in Hadera.
A week of violence has now left 12 Palestinians dead. Nine Palestinians died in Israeli air strikes on Thursday and Friday which the army said were targeting Palestinian militants.
Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz has said Israel's strikes were aimed at wiping out Islamic Jihad's ability to carry out suicide bombings.
Security officials have said that they are also on their guard against expected terror attempts on 11 November, the first anniversary of Arafat's death in a French hospital.
Security forces have received general warnings indicating the Palestinians intend to carry out terror attacks to mark Arafat's death, but have no concrete information on the plans of any particular organisation, according to Haaretz.
The Qabatiyah clash and the Palestinian rocket attacks were the latest in a series of incidents in which Palestinians have fired Qassams and carried out suicide bombings, and the IDF has raided and shelled suspected Jihad and Hamas strongholds and targeted commanders of armed squads, AKI reports.