New wave of stabbings shake Israel, West Bank

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Three Palestinian knife attackers were shot dead by Israelis on Saturday as tensions in the region run high after weeks of street violence.

The West Bank city of Hebron was the scene of two attacks, the Israel Defence Forces and police said.

In the first, an Israeli civilian shot a knife-wielding Palestinian man who had allegedly attempted to stab him. Hours later, a female Israeli police officer fired at a Palestinian woman after being stabbed. The officer was slightly injured.

In Jerusalem, a policeman shot dead a Palestinian who was attempting to stab officers.

There have been more than two dozen Palestinian stabbing attacks against Israelis since October 6.

The unrest has been fuelled in large part by Palestinian fears that Israel wants to change the status quo observed for decades at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

The mosque sits on a site in the Old City called the Temple Mount by Jews and the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims.

Israel has repeatedly denied that it plans to change the long-standing agreement that says Jews may visit the site but not pray there.

Violence and demonstrations over access to the site, which is holy to both religions, began earlier this month and have spread to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At least a dozen Palestinians have been killed after clashing with Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, while in the West Bank 23 Palestinians have been killed and 2,000 injured, according to medics.

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