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Two Palestinians killed, one wounded in Jerusalem attacks

In online statement, Islamic State group claims responsibility for attack, which is rejected by Hamas
Israeli security forces, ambulance at scene of attack outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on 16 June (AFP)

Israeli police shot and killed two Palestinians suspected of shooting at them, as a policewoman was stabbed to death outside Jerusalem's Old City on Friday.

The attacks took place as Muslims were marking the end of the third Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, during which tens of thousands of Palestinians from east Jerusalem and the West Bank attended prayers at the nearby Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site.

According to police, the two suspects shot at a group of police officers who returned fire, and a third stabbed the border policewoman a short distance away before being shot himself. It was earlier reported that all three suspected assailants were killed, but a police spokesperson backtracked and said that one was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.

Palestinian security forces identified the Palestinians as Bara' Saleh and Adel Ankoush, both 18 and from Deir Abu Mashal near Ramallah, and 31-year-old Amer Badawi from Hebron.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that border policewoman Hadas Malka, 23, was killed in the attack.

Medics said two other people were moderately wounded in the attack, and two more lightly wounded.

According to the Israeli news outlet Ynet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revoked travel permits from the West Bank after the attack.

The Islamic State (IS) group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack.

In an online statement, IS said three of its militants had targeted "a gathering of Jews" in the operation. The group warned that "this attack will not be the last".

Hamas rejected the claim, however, saying the three Palestinians belonged to local Islamist and leftist movements. Sami Abou Zouhri, spokesman for the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza strip, said the attack was carried out by "two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas".

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 272 Palestinians, 41 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

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