Ammar Awad / Reuters

Israeli forces shoot dead three Palestinians after alleged attacks

Three Palestinians alleged to have attacked Israeli forces were killed in separate incidents in West Bank and Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers shot dead three Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli police and the military said, as a wave of heightened violence persisted into its fifth month.

In Jerusalem, a Palestinian man allegedly stabbed two Israeli police officers outside the walled Old City before they opened fire and killed him, police said. An Al Jazeera video of the incident shows Israeli forces repeatedly shooting the man after he was already down.

A few hours later, in the West Bank, a Palestinian man allegedly tried to ram his car into a group of Israeli soldiers who then shot him dead, the military said.

A third Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers in a clash in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the man was armed with an automatic weapon and fired on soldiers during a protest. The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli forces prevented one of its ambulances from reaching the scene, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Since October, stabbings, shootings and car rammings by Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis and a U.S. citizen. Israeli forces have killed at least 169 Palestinians, 110 of whom Israel says were assailants, while most others were shot dead during protests.

The bloodshed has raised concern of wider escalation a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided.

Briefing the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. envoy on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, said he was concerned the bloodshed may be entering "a new troubling phase."

Mladenov called on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to provide "a political horizon to their people" and to reject incitement by what he called radicals in their own camps.

Tensions have been stoked by various factors including a dispute over Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound and the failure of several rounds of peace talks to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories and secure the Palestinians an independent state.

Palestinian leaders have said that with no breakthrough on the horizon, desperate youth see no future ahead. Israel says young Palestinians are being incited to violence by their leaders.

Security officials have also pointed to economic hardship and social media as playing a role in triggering attacks.

Many alleged Palestinian attackers have been teenagers.

On Thursday, two Palestinian 14-year-olds allegedly stabbed and killed an Israeli, who also had U.S. citizenship, in a supermarket in the West Bank before an armed civilian shot and wounded the teens.

"This horrific incident again underscores the need for all sides to reject violence and urgently take steps to restore calm, reduce tensions, and bring an immediate end to the violence," the U.S. State Department said.

Al Jazeera and Reuters

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