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Israeli police officer and three Palestinian attackers killed in Jerusalem

Three Palestinians shot dead after fatally wounding one Israeli police officer and injuring another outside Damascus Gate entrance to Old City
Israeli police officers and first responders inspect the bodies of two of Palestinians killed following an attack at Damascus Gate (AFP)

Israeli police shot dead three armed Palestinians after they fatally wounded one Israeli officer and injured another in a gun and knife assault on Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday, police and medics said.

The attack happened at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City. One of the Israeli police, Hadar Cohen, 19, died hours after the attack from a gunshot wound to the head. The other injured officer was said to be in serious condition.

All three Palestinian attackers were shot dead.

According to Israeli authorities, the Palestinians were approached by border police. One showed an ID, but a second drew a gun and began shooting.

Officers opened fire and killed the attackers, police said.

The Reuters news agency quoted a police spokesman as saying one attacker had fired an automatic rifle, critically wounding one policewomen. Another policewoman was stabbed and wounded, and two pipe bombs were found at the scene.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks erupted in October. Most of the attacks have been stabbings, although there have also been occasional shootings.

The violence has killed 25 Israelis, as well as an American and an Eritrean, according to an AFP count.

At the same time, 164 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most while carrying out attacks but others during clashes and demonstrations.

Late on Monday, Israel lifted a daylong restriction on access into and out of the Palestinian political capital Ramallah on the occupied West Bank, imposed after a checkpoint shooting that wounded soldiers, in a stepped-up response to such attacks.

It was the first time such a step was taken by Israel since the wave of Palestinian attacks began, according to Israeli media.

The move kept commuters from leaving or exiting the West Bank city and led to frustration as lengthy queues formed in some areas.

It also applied to foreigners, although United Nations officials, international NGOs and diplomatic staff were exempted, diplomatic and UN sources said.

The army said in a statement late Monday that "the crossings to and from Ramallah have returned to normal activity," following a "situational assessment".

It had said earlier in the day that only residents of Ramallah were being allowed in, while non-residents were permitted to leave. A military source said greater emphasis was placed on checking those exiting.

It was not clear when the last time such a move had been taken by Israel, though heavy restrictions were put in place during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, between 2000 and 2005.