gaza rockets israel
A rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel. Reuters file photo

Rising tensions across Israel and the Palestinian territories could lead to a restart of symbolic rocket fire against Israel from Islamist militant factions in the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli defence source has warned.

"There is concern over symbolic solitary rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as we saw last weekend in Eshkol with the rocket fire carried out by Islamic Jihad," he said.

"If Hamas could carry out attacks in the West Bank, it would," the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, added.

The Israeli security cabinet met yesterday (11 November) to decide on a response to a spate of Palestinian knife attacks against Israeli targets, with a soldier killed in Tel Aviv and a settler killed in the West Bank.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said after the meeting that Israel would act to end the violence.

"We are in the midst of an escalation, and we will take a firm hand to stop this wave of violence, including more widespread arrests than in the past and the demolition of the homes of terrorists," he said.

"The fate of any terrorist who raises his hand with a knife or uses a car to run people over is death."

Yaalon added that Israeli forces had been cooperating with the Palestinian Authority, who control the West Bank, to ensure that the escalation did not continue.

"The Palestinian Authority and the bodies working on the ground to prevent escalation are conducting coordination meetings with us, despite the rhetoric by the leaders of the Authority calling for escalation."

Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since Hamas gained control of the territory in 2007 and restricts the movements of goods through its border because of perceived security concerns emanating from the Islamist militant factions.

In the recent seven-week Gaza conflict, over 2,100 Palestinians - mostly civilians - lost their lives. All but five of the 68 Israeli fatalities were soldiers.