The beginning of the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) biblical holiday was sadly marred by numerous fires across southern Israel.
The blazes, which destroyed agricultural land and nature reserves, were caused by flaming kites and balloons carrying incendiary devices launched by Palestinian Arabs in the adjacent Gaza Strip.
Firefighters were battling at least nine serious fires in southern Israel at the start of this week.
Over the holiday, Gaza’s Hamas rulers declared that indirect ceasefire talks with Israel had stalled, and that the terror group would in response escalate the unrest along the Gaza security fence.
Palestinian rioters gathered at the fence on Monday and hurled stones, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. A number of attempts were made to breach the barrier and enter southern Israel.
Israeli forces responded with both live fire and crowd dispersal techniques. Hamas sources claimed that at least one Palestinian rioter had been killed, and dozens more wounded.