Israel's prime minister has ordered an investigation after a Palestinian school in east Jerusalem invited the father of a Palestinian who killed civilians to speak to students.

Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday asked Israel's attorney general to look into whether the visit constituted incitement.

Mohammed Allyan says the school invited him to speak and that he told the children to read books. He denied inciting violence.

His son shot and stabbed passengers on a bus in October, killing Israeli-American Richard Lakin, 76, and two Israelis, before being shot dead. Lakin was an educator who worked for peace and coexistence.

Israel says incitement by Palestinian leaders is a key factor behind a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent months. Palestinians say the violence stems from frustration over decades of military occupation.