TEL AVIV, Israel - Three Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers on Monday in the latest violence in the West Bank.

All three fatalities occurred in and around the city of Hebron.

Later Monday, Israeli war planes carried out two airstrikes on posts in central and southern Gaza in response to earlier rocket launches into Israel, security officials in Gaza said.

The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior said Israeli F-16s struck a communications tower and another target in the southern town of Rafah near the destroyed Gaza airport. No injuries were reported in either airstrike.

They were in response to an earlier attack in which militants from Gaza fired a rocket into Israel. According to Israel Radio, the rocket landed in an empty field in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

A group of militants from Gaza affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility.

In the latest shooting incident, Israeli soldiers opened fire at stone-throwing Palestinians, striking a 19-year-old in the head, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Earlier in the day, Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinians allegedly involved in knife attacks, bringing the number of such incidents to 42 in just over three weeks.

An Israeli soldier stabbed in one of the attacks was in critical condition with injuries to the neck and upper body. A Palestinian stabbed him at a roadblock near Hebron, the Israeli military said.

A few hours later, a second Palestinian was shot and killed while trying to stab a soldier at a checkpoint inside Hebron.

Attacks this month have amounted to the worst spell of street violence in years. An Eritrean, nine Israelis, and 60 Palestinians have been killed.

Most of the Palestinian dead were attackers, shot while stabbing or after stabbing Israelis. The rest were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces.

Many of the recent knife attacks occurred in Hebron, where soldiers are an omnipresent target because of the large number of roadblocks and checkpoints in and near the city.

Almost all attacks in Hebron however have been foiled, with the alleged stabbers shot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday reiterated that the establishment of a Palestinian state was impossible "at this time."

"At this point there is a need to control all the territory visible to the eye," he said.