Israeli policeman stabbed in Jerusalem, attacker killed

 Israeli security forces and forensics transport the body of the alleged Palestinian assailant.
Israeli security forces and forensics transport the body of the alleged Palestinian assailant.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - A Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli policeman near Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday before being shot dead, police said.

The assailant "stabbed a policeman, leaving him injured," a police statement said, adding the victim's wounds to the hand were not life threatening.

"Troops opened fire" and killed the assailant, the statement added.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld identified the assailant as a 21-year-old Palestinian from the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Rescue services said one person suffered both stabbing and bullet wounds, and Rosenfeld said the latter was likely a result of accidental police fire, with the officer hit in the ankle.

The area, near to the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem's tourist-heavy Old City, was closed off after the attack, police said. Damascus Gate is a main entrance for Palestinians to the Old City.

The attack was the second of the day, and the latest in a wave of Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians and security forces.

Earlier, an Israeli soldier and a bystander were wounded in a shooting in the West Bank, the army said, before the assailant was shot dead.

"A gunman stopped at a checkpoint near Hizmeh, exited his vehicle and shot forces at the site," an army statement said.

"The forces responded, shooting the attacker and resulting in his death."

Palestinian security sources said the gunman was a member of the Palestinian Authority's security forces, identifying him as 37-year-old Mazen Hassan Orebeih.

It is unusual for Palestinian security agents to be implicated in such attacks. Most of the attackers in the recent violence have been young Palestinians, including teenagers.

A wave of violence erupted on Oct 1 and has so far claimed the lives of more than 120 people, including 105 Palestinians and 17 Israelis.

Many of the Palestinians killed have been attackers while others have been shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes.