Israel’s security forces stepped up their level of alert across the country on Tuesday, following several terror attacks over the past few days and ahead of a possible escalation in the West Bank and Gaza.
Tensions have been stirred by last week's breakout by six Palestinian militants from the maximum-security Gilboa Prison in northern Israel. Four of the men have since been recaptured.
On Monday, two young Haredi teens were stabbed and moderately wounded by an alleged lone wolf terrorist in Jerusalem. The assailant was shot and wounded by Border Police troops
The Israel Police said they had dispatched reenforcements of 2,000 policemen to Jerusalem after the attack.
The deployment of security forces, including Shin Bet personnel, allegedly led to the thwarting of a “major” terrorist attack on Monday, the details of which were placed under a gag order.
In the meantime, IDF forces were still searching for the remaining two Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison last Monday.
Israeli security officials said they were concerned that if the two convicted terrorists who remain at large are shot in the course of their capture, the Islamic Jihad terror group will resume rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad had urged Palestinians in the West Bank to carry out attacks in response to what they called "collective punishment" of the PIJ prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails following the prison break and the rioting that followed.
After three nights of rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel's southern border remained relatively calm on Monday night.
However, the IDF’s Gaza Division was put on high alert and senior officers were quoted as saying that another military operation in the Strip is not a question of if, but when.
Egyptian officials reportedly told Hamas leaders following Monday's summit meeting of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, that if the rocket fire does not stop, Israel will launch another broad operation in the Strip.
A delegation of the Egyptian Intelligence is expected to visit the Gaza Strip in the coming days in search for a solution to the question of Qatari money earmarked for salaries for Hamas officials, after the Palestinian Authority backed out of its agreement to transfer the funds.
Reuters contributed to this report
First published: 10:31, 09.14.21