JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Three Palestinians attacked Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank and civilians in the Tel Aviv suburbs with knives on Monday and one of them was shot dead, Israeli authorities said.
Now in its second month, the worst spate of violence since the 2014 Gaza war has been caused by tensions over Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews, and by deadlocked talks with Israel on Palestinian statehood.
The Israeli military said troops approached two Palestinians at a petrol station near a checkpoint inside the West Bank boundary. One of them tried to stab a soldier and was shot dead, the army said. Palestinian officials said he was 16 years old.
The second Palestinian was arrested, the Israeli army said.
Later, a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank city of Hebron stabbed three people in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Lezion before being overpowered and arrested, Israeli police said. They said two of those stabbed, one an 80-year-old woman, were in serious condition. The third was slightly hurt.
In Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, another West Bank Palestinian in his 20s stabbed a 70-year-old man, seriously wounding him, and was shot and wounded by police, Israeli authorities said.
At least 67 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since Oct. 1. Forty of them were armed mainly with knives, while others were shot during violent protests, Israel says. An Israeli air strike in retaliation for a cross-border rocket attack also killed a Gaza woman and her daughter.
Eleven Israelis have been killed in stabbings and shootings by Palestinians.
A growing number of visits by religious Jews to al-Aqsa plaza - Islam’s holiest site outside Saudi Arabia and revered in Judaism as the location of two destroyed biblical temples - have stirred Palestinian allegations that Israel is violating a long-running agreement banning non-Muslim prayer there.
Israel has accused Palestinian officials of inciting the violence by spreading the allegations, which it says are false.
Reporting by Ori Lewis; Editing by Richard Balmforth