Palestinian militants and Israeli police have both denied a claim by the Islamic State that it is responsible for attacks carried out by three Palestinian men near Jerusalem’s Old City that ended with the death of an Israeli policewoman.The men were shot dead by Israeli security forces.
The police and the militants said the attackers were local individuals who were not associated with the terrorist group.
Officials said there were two simultaneous attacks Friday near the Damascus Gate, an approved entry point into the walled Old City of Jerusalem for adult Palestinian men to attend Friday prayers. The violence came as Muslims marked the third Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
In one incident, two Palestinians opened fire on a group of police officers and also came at them with knives. In the other attack, a Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli woman working as a border police officer. She was identified as Hadas Malka, aged 23.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said the three slain Palestinians were 18 or 19 years old. All were from the same village near Ramallah in the West Bank, and had been detained in the past for suspected “terrorist” activities.
Four other people were injured in Friday’s attacks, including another Israeli police officer and a Palestinian passerby who had no involvement in the incident.
Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel have increased since 2015, although once-daily attacks had slowed lately. Since October 2015, violent incidents and other unrest has killed more than 270 Palestinians, more than 40 Israelis and a small group of foreigners.
Israel blames the Palestinian leadership for inciting the violence.Palestinian officials reject the accusation and say the violence steps from anger over Israeli occupation of land sought by Palestinians.