JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by police on Monday (Nov 23) after she used scissors to stab and slightly wound a man on a busy street in downtown Jerusalem, Israeli authorities said, as an eight-week-old wave of violence showed no signs of abating.
The drama that unfolded on Jaffa Road, a main thoroughfare between East and West Jerusalem, had a complicated plot in a city where Arabs and Jews live and work in close proximity and identities are sometimes blurred.
The 70-year-old man stabbed by the teenager was also a Palestinian, a resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank whom she apparently mistook for an Israeli.
A second Palestinian girl, aged 14 and also carrying scissors, took part in the attack, and she was shot and wounded by the same police officer who killed the other assailant, police said, adding that the two teenagers were related.
A ricochet from one of the bullets he fired injured a passerby - an Israeli man, hospital officials said.
Eighty-four Palestinians have been killed in the spate of violence since Oct 1, some while carrying out attacks and others in clashes with Israeli forces. Nineteen Israelis and an American student have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings.
The latest incident occurred a day before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories to discuss ways to try to stem the violence.
The bloodshed has been driven in part by Muslim agitation over stepped-up Jewish visits to East Jerusalem's al Aqsa mosque compound - Islam's third holiest site and also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical temples - as well as by long-deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
On Sunday, an Israeli woman was stabbed to death and three Palestinian attackers were killed in a series of incidents in the West Bank.
The Palestinian government has said Israel is carrying out unlawful killings of Palestinians and "accusing every victim of holding a knife" or planting one at the side of alleged attackers.
Israel has said it is within its rights to respond with lethal force to potentially deadly attacks.