Israeli forces kill two Palestinian assailants, police say, as violence surges
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Israeli policemen scuffle with Arab Israelis during a demonstration held by Israeli right-wing protesters (not pictured) near the family home of Nashat Melhem, an Arab Israeli who killed three people in a Jan. 1 shooting attack, in the northern Arab Israe
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces killed two Palestinian assailants in the West Bank on Monday, police said, and two Israeli police officers were stabbed in East Jerusalem in a resurgence of violence now into its fourth day.
Palestinian street attacks that began nearly a year ago had largely waned in recent months, but a series of assaults since Friday have raised alarm in Israel of a new wave of bloodshed in the run-up to the Jewish New Year holiday next month.
In the latest violence, two Palestinians who tried to stab Israeli paramilitary border policemen in the town of Hebron, a flashpoint in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, were shot by the force, Israeli police said.
One of the assailants was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and the other died of his wounds in a Jerusalem hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the facility. The Palestinian Health Ministry said one was aged 17 and the other, 21. The incident occurred near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site holy to Jews and Muslims, who refer to it as the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The deaths raised to six the number of alleged attackers - five Palestinians and a Jordanian - killed since Friday in incidents in which Israeli authorities said at least nine Israelis have been wounded.
Earlier on Monday, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded two police officers, one of them a woman who sustained serious injuries, in East Jerusalem, police said. The second officer, a man, shot and wounded the assailant.
At least 217 Palestinians have died in violent incidents since October 2015 in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Of them, 146 were identified by authorities as assailants while others were killed during clashes and protests.
Palestinians, many of them acting alone and with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans in the attacks.
Palestinians have accused Israel of using excessive force and say that some of those killed posed no threat or had no intention of attacking anyone. In some cases, Israel has opened investigations into whether excessive force was used.
Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion on occupied land that Palestinians seek for an independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Israel says anti-Israeli incitement by Palestinian officials and on social media networks have stoked attacks.
(This story corrects age of alleged assailant.)
(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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