JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian attackers in separate incidents on Tuesday, police said, part of the worst wave of violence in the region since the 2014 Gaza war.
In the latest incident, a Palestinian drew a knife and tried to attack paramilitary border policemen at a checkpoint in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, police spokesman Luba Samri said. They shot him after he ignored calls to stop and was later declared dead, he said.
In Jerusalem, security guards shot a 37-year-old Palestinian who ran at them with a knife near the walled Old City, Samri said. The hospital where the Palestinian was taken said he later died of his wounds.
A Palestinian bystander was hurt by a stray bullet, Samri added.
Moments earlier, a short distance away, two Palestinian boys aged 12 and 13 stabbed a guard on a tram, Samri said. The guard shot back at them and a hospital spokeswoman said one boy was seriously wounded. Police said the other was taken into custody. Israel Radio said passengers helped overcome the boys.
Seventy-five Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli security forces since Oct. 1, including 44 people Israeli police said were carrying out attacks, while 12 Israelis have been killed.
The violence over the past six weeks has in part been fueled by an increase in Jewish visits to a site in Jerusalem’s walled Old City that is holy to both Muslims and Jews.
Palestinian militants have called for a knife “intifada”, or uprising, against Israel and many of the assailants have been teenagers.
In addition, Palestinians are frustrated as U.S.-backed peace efforts have stalled and Israel’s 48-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem shows no sign of ending.
Gaza, ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, is under a partial but crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
The Palestinians seek an independent state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Washington, their first meeting between the two in 13 months.
Writing by Maayan Lubell and Ori Lewis; Editing by Mark Heinrich