Jerusalem: Three Palestinian assailants were shot dead on Wednesday while carrying out a shooting and stabbing attack that wounded two Israeli paramilitary policewomen at an entrance to Jerusalem`s walled Old City, Israeli police said.
It was the latest in a spate of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings by Palestinians that has killed 26 Israelis and a U.S. citizen since October. Israeli forces have killed at least 155 Palestinians, 101 of them assailants according to authorities. Most of the others have died in violent protests.
A police spokeswoman said the Palestinians launched the attack at the Damascus Gate, a busy plaza in East Jerusalem, after being stopped by police for an identity check.
All of the three attackers were carrying concealed weapons and at least one of them opened fire with an automatic rifle, critically wounding one of the policewomen before they were shot dead by Israeli security forces, the spokeswoman said.
The other policewoman was stabbed and wounded, and two pipe bombs were found at the scene, the police spokeswoman said.
The surge in attacks has been partly fuelled by Palestinian frustration over the collapse of U.S.-sponsored peace talks in 2014, the growth of Jewish settlements on occupied land they seek for a future state, and Islamist calls for the destruction of Israel.