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Palestinian woman shot after stabbing Israeli man

Incident was the third knife attack in Jerusalem in less than a week

An 18-year-old Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli man near a contested shrine in Jerusalem on Wednesday and was then shot and wounded by him, Israeli police said, making it the third knife attack in the city in less than a week.

Police said the attack happened in an alleyway near the Western Wall, a Jewish prayer site abutting the Al-Aqsa mosque complex — Islam's third holiest shrine, which Jews also revere as the vestige of their two ancient temples.

The Palestinian woman stabbed the Israeli in the back, lightly wounding him, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The man then drew a gun and shot the woman, who was taken to hospital in serious condition, Samri added.

However, witnesses to the incident dispute the police's claim that the teen stabbed the Israeli man, Ma'an News Agency reported.

In a separate incident, Israeli police shot dead an Arab man in central Israel after he allegedly wounded a soldier with a knife and took his weapon, authorities said.

The soldier suffered a wound to the hand and was robbed of his gun in Kiryat Gat, while the alleged attacker hid in a building, where he was shot dead by police, the military and police said. 

Both Israel and the U.S.-backed administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have sought to calm a surge in street violence that has been exacerbated by confrontations between Palestinian protesters and armed officers at the Al-Aqsa site.

Confrontations spread late on Tuesday to Jaffa, a predominantly Arab neighborhood of Israel's commercial capital Tel Aviv, where three police officers were injured in stone-throwing incidents and six protesters arrested, police said.

Four Israelis have been killed in stabbings in Jerusalem and a drive-by shooting in the occupied West Bank since Thursday. Three Palestinians have been shot dead — including the man killed on Wednesday — and scores injured in clashes with security services, triggering fears of an escalation.

Two Israelis were killed by Muhannad Halabi, 19, in Jerusalem on Saturday. He was shot dead after fatally stabbing the two men and injuring a woman and a two-year-old child.

Early on Sunday morning, Fadi Alloun, another 19-year-old Palestinian, was fatally shot by Israeli police after allegedly stabbing an Israeli teenager — a claim his family disputes.

Palestinians fear increasing visits by Jewish groups to Al-Aqsa are eroding longtime Muslim religious control there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is committed to maintaining the status quo at Al-Aqsa. 

Al Jazeera and wire services

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