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Two Palestinians shot by police over Jerusalem attacks

At least one of two alleged assailants killed by police over shootings which come one day after spate of attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
Israeli emergency personnel and security forces gather around the body of one of two alleged gunmen (AFP)

Two Palestinians were shot after opening fire at two different locations in Jerusalem on Wednesday, leaving one person seriously wounded, Israeli police said.

Both were shot by police, with at least one of them confirmed killed. Police provided conflicting information on whether the second attacker had been killed or wounded.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said that both assailants had been killed in an attack at Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem.

It said a 50-year-old man had also been taken to hospital in serious condition with gunshot wounds.

The Palestinian Maan news agency also said that both attackers were dead.

Earlier, shooting from a car was reported at Jerusalem's Ramot junction, although nobody was injured in the incident.

Police told Haaretz the shootings appeared to be linked and said they had found improvised firearms in a vehicle matching the description of the car involved in the earlier shooting.

The shootings were the latest in a string of attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv coinciding with US Vice President Joe Biden's arrival in Israel on Tuesday.

Four Palestinian attackers were shot dead in four separate incidents which left an American tourist dead and at least 12 people wounded.

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 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 at least 184 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.

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