Israeli police kill alleged Palestinian stabber in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police said Thursday that officers shot a Palestinian woman who allegedly attempted to stab them in east Jerusalem’s Old City. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The police said in a statement that the woman approached officers outside an entrance to the city’s flashpoint holy site known to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Compound and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

“After she approached them, she drew a knife and attempted to stab the officers at the scene, who responded by shooting at her,” police said in a statement. “Medical personnel who arrived at the scene pronounced her dead.”

The woman’s identity was not immediately known. Palestinian media reported that she was from a town near the West Bank city of Jenin, where tensions have run high following the escape by Palestinian prisoners from an Israeli prison.

Palestinians have carried out scores of car-ramming, shooting and stabbing attacks targeting Israeli soldiers, police officers and civilians in recent years in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups say security personnel often use excessive force.

Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. The city, holy to the three Abrahamic religions, is the focal point of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel annexed the city’s eastern half — home to holy sites to Jews, Christians and Muslims — in a move unrecognized by most of the international community and considers the city its undivided capital. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as capital of a future independent state.

In a separate incident, Israel’s Border Police said that a Palestinian man opened fire on troops involved in an arrest raid in a northern West Bank town. The Border Police said in a statement that troops returned fire. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, reported that a 22-year-old man was killed and two other wounded.

Burqin, a town near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was the scene of a major gunbattle between Israeli troops and Palestinians earlier this week in which two Palestinians were killed and two Israeli soldiers seriously wounded during a raid targeting a Hamas militant cell.