Israeli police kill Palestinian who stabbed three in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli paramilitary police officers shot dead a Palestinian on Saturday after he stabbed three Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City, a police spokesman said.

The assailant wounded two ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in the street before fleeing into a nearby house where he was caught by border police officers who had given chase. He stabbed one of them before being shot, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

One of the two civilians was stabbed in the upper body and suffered injuries described as moderate. The other man and the border policeman were lightly wounded, Rosenfeld added.

Palestinian web sites identified the assailant as 17-year-old Ahmed Ghazzal, from the city of Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The incident took place close to the spot where, three days earlier, border police shot and killed a woman who tried to stab officers at Damascus Gate, a heavily guarded entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.

At least 242 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian Territories in a period of sporadic violence that began in October 2015 but has tapered off in recent months.

Israel says at least 162 were Palestinians who launched stabbing, shooting or ramming attacks using vehicles on Israelis before being killed by Israeli security forces. Others died during clashes and protests.

Two American tourists and 37 Israelis have been killed in such incidents since the violence began.

Israel has accused the Palestinian leadership of inciting the violence. The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, denies incitement and charges that in many cases, Israel has used excessive force in thwarting attackers armed with rudimentary weapons.

Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Helen Popper