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Tel Aviv and Jerusalem rocked by string of Palestinian attacks

American tourist stabbed to death and 12 people injured in four incidents, with all four Palestinian attackers reported killed
Israeli security forces gather in East Jerusalem's Salahedin Street after a shooting attack on Tuesday (AFP)

Four attackers have been shot dead after launching stabbing and shooting attacks in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, on the day US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel amid an ongoing wave of violence.

An American tourist was killed and 12 other people were wounded in the Tuesday attacks: a stabbing in Jaffa; a shooting in Jerusalem; a stabbing in Jerusalem; and a stabbing in Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv. 

In Jaffa, a Palestinian attacker was shot dead by Israeli police after stabbing and wounding 10 people near the city's port and beach promenade. One of the victims, identified as an American tourist, was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

In occupied East Jerusalem, a Palestinian shot and seriously wounded two Israeli police officers before being shot dead, Israeli authorities and medics said. Police said the attacker was carrying an automatic weapon.

In Tel Aviv, a Palestinian allegedly stabbed an ultra-Orthodox Jew in an alcohol store in Petach Tikva. The victim and owner of the shop fought back, seized the attacker's weapon and killed him, police said.

Earlier, a Palestinian woman attempted to stab Israeli police forces in Jerusalem's Old City before being shot dead.

The attack in Jaffa took place within a short walk of where US vice-president Biden met former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Biden "condemned in the strongest possible terms the brutal attack which occurred in Jaffa during his meeting with president Peres, and commented that there is no justification for such acts of terror," his office said.

"He expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss of American life and offered his condolences to the family of the American citizen murdered in the attack, as well as his wishes for a full and quick recovery for the wounded."

The US State Department identified the dead American as Taylor Allen Force, a 29-year-old native of Texas and a US army veteran.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of violence since October in which a total of 183 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, an American, a Sudanese and an Eritrean have been killed.

Most of the Palestinians were killed while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or demonstrations.

Biden is due to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.

When meeting Peres on Tuesday, he spoke of an "unvarnished, complete commitment to the security of Israel. And I hope we will make some progress".

But the White House has said Biden will not be pursuing any major new peace initiatives during his visit.