JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli soldiers and a settler shot dead Palestinians who tried to stab Jews in separate incidents in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the army and police said.
In the first attack at just before 6am GMT, a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli settler in the centre of the West Bank city of Hebron near a Jewish enclave where 500 settlers live under army protection surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.
The settler responded by opening fire on his assailant, the army said, adding that the Palestinian had tried but failed to wound the Jewish man.
Palestinian sources identified the assailant as 18-year-old Fadel al-Kawatsmi and confirmed his death.
Minutes later in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, a second Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces when he tried to stab a soldier at a checkpoint, police said.
Police spokesman Louba Samri said the Palestinian, who was not immediately identified, was killed on the spot after he tried to stab the soldier in the Israeli settlement neighbourhood of Armon Hanetsiv, also known as East Talpiot.
In the third attack, a Palestinian woman attempted to stab a female Israeli soldier in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday before being shot dead by her victim, Israeli police said.
The soldier was guarding the settler enclave in the heart of the city, where some 500 Jews live under heavy protection surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.
She suffered minor injuries to her hand, Ms Samri said. It was the second attempted stabbing of the day in Hebron that had led to a Palestinian assailant being killed.
Israeli security forces have deployed massively in Jerusalem after two weeks of Palestinian attacks in the city and across Israel.
Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in the violence so far, while nearly 40 Palestinians have died and hundreds more been wounded in clashes.
The violence has sparked fears that a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising against Israeli occupation, could break out.
In the Palestinian uprisings of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, thousands were killed and many more wounded in near daily violence.
The latest incidents come a day after Palestinians called for a "Friday of revolution" against Israel.
They also follow a Thursday night arson attack on Joseph's Tomb, a shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus which many Jews believe to be the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph.
The shrine, where Muslims believe an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yussef (Joseph) Dawiqat was buried two centuries ago, is under Palestinian control.
The violence began on Oct 1, when a suspected cell of the Islamist movement Hamas murdered a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.
Those killings followed repeated clashes at east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound in September between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths.