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Three Palestinians shot dead after knife attacks

Published 17/10/2015

Israeli troops fire tear gas during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators near Ramallah. (AP)
Israeli troops fire tear gas during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators near Ramallah. (AP)

Israelis shot four Palestinians, killing at least three, who they said attacked them with knives in Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Hebron.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a 16-year-old Palestinian drew a knife on officers in Jerusalem when they stopped him to ask for identification after a bystander said he was behaving suspiciously. She said the officers shot and killed the teenager after he tried to stab them.

The incident took place near where two Palestinian men boarded a bus earlier in the week and began shooting and stabbing passengers, killing two.

Elsewhere, Israel's military said an Israeli pedestrian shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab him in the West Bank city of Hebron, a frequent flashpoint where a few hundred Jewish settlers live in close proximity to tens of thousands of Palestinians. The military said the Palestinian was shot dead before he could harm the man.

Later, police said a Palestinian woman stabbed a female officer at a border police base in Hebron before the officer shot her dead. The officer's hand was lightly wounded.

On Saturday night, the Israeli army said a soldier was stabbed and moderately wounded in Hebron. The attacker was quickly shot. There were no immediate details of his condition.

Over the past month, eight Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them stabbings. In that time, 39 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 18 labelled by Israel as attackers, and the rest in clashes with Israeli troops.

Most of the attacks on Israelis have been carried out by Palestinians with no known ties to militant groups. The daily attacks have caused a sense of panic across Israel and raised fears that the region is on the cusp of a new round of heavy violence.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has tried to calm the situation by saying violence is not in the Palestinians' interest and behind the scenes has ordered his security forces to reduce frictions.

But Israel has accused him of incitement, saying he has not condemned attacks on Israelis and falsely accused Israel of having "summarily executed" a Palestinian boy who stabbed an Israeli boy. The Palestinian teen is recovering in an Israeli hospital.

Israel has taken unprecedented steps in response to the attacks. It has deployed soldiers in Israeli cities and erected concrete barriers outside some Arab neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, where most of the attackers came from. Ordinary citizens have also increasingly taken up arms to protect themselves.

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