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Israeli police kill Palestinian in Jerusalem after stabbing attempt

New violence comes amid escalated tensions in the occupied territories as an Israeli airstrike kills a pregnant woman and her toddler daughter
A Palestinian protester throws stones during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Israeli-manned Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on October 9, 2015 [AFP]

A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli security forces after he tried to stab a policeman at an entrance to Jerusalem's Old City on Monday, police said, in the latest in a wave of knife attacks. 

The police officer's protective vest stopped the knife and he was unharmed. The attacker was shot dead by other officers, according to Israeli officials.

Police identified the attacker as an "Arab" without saying whether he was Palestinian or an Israeli citizen of a Palestinian origin. The incident occurred at the Old City's Lions Gate.

More than a dozen alleged stabbing attacks targeting Israelis have occurred since 3 October, when a Palestinian killed two people in Jerusalem's Old City.

The latest incident comes after Palestinian teenager was shot dead in the West Bank and an Israeli airstrike killed a pregnant woman and toddler in Gaza Sunday, as unrest over the weekend threatened to spiral into a full-scale intifada.

Four Israelis were also wounded near a kibbutz, after more than 10 days of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.

There has also been a series of Palestinian stabbings of Jews.

On Saturday, a Palestinian allegedly stabbed two police officers outside the Old City in east Jerusalem before being shot dead by security forces, police said.

Hamas has already branded the spiralling violence between Israelis and Palestinians an intifada and called for further unrest.

Sunday’s airstrike, launched in retaliation over two rockets fired at Israel, demolished a house in northern Gaza, killing Nur Hassan, 30, and her two-year-old daughter Rahaf.

"This shows the occupation's desire to escalate," said a spokesman for Hamas, which controls the coastal enclave.

"We warn the occupation against continuing this foolishness," said the spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

Israel said it was targeting Hamas's arms manufacturing facilities.

West Bank clashes

During clashes near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager, identified by the Palestinian health ministry as Ahmad Sharake, 13.

Medics said dozens of Palestinians were also shot and wounded in other clashes across the West Bank.

Sharake, from Jalazun refugee camp, was killed when violence broke out as hundreds of Palestinians near Ramallah attempted to approach a road to throw stones and firebombs at settlers' cars.

Within hours of the teenager's death, four Jews were attacked near Gan Shmuel kibbutz, in northern Israel, by a Palestinian living in Israel who rammed them with his car and then lunged at them.

The Israeli army revealed that two soldiers were hit by the car, with one of them seriously injured, and two civilians were stabbed.

The attack near the kibbutz was the 15th stabbing of Israelis since October 3, but the first by an Palestinian living in Israel to cause injury, rather than by Palestinians from East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

In a revenge stabbing, a 17-year-old Jew in the southern Israeli city of Dimona wounded two Palestinians and two Palestinians citizens of Israel on Friday.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini appealed against the escalation of violence on Sunday in separate phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

During the calls she “condemned acts of terror against civilians, and stressed that any reaction should be proportionate,” an EU press release said.

Rioting has seen Palestinians throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli forces throughout the area, who have responded with live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.

Four Israelis and 24 Palestinians, including eight children, have died in 12 days of bloodshed, fuelled in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem and with Palestinians attacking Israelis with knives, rocks and, in at least one incident, guns.

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