JERUSALEM – Three Palestinians armed with an automatic weapon and knives killed a young female officer on duty near Jerusalem's Old City in near simultaneous attacks at two locations Friday evening, before they were shot and killed.
It was the latest bloodshed in a wave of Palestinian attacks on civilians and soldiers that erupted in 2015. At times the attacks were daily occurrences, but they have relatively subsided in recent months. However there have been a string of recent attacks near the Old City.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Hadas Malka, 23, was responding to an attack nearby when a Palestinian assaulted her with a knife. Samri said Malka wrestled with the man for several seconds as he stabbed her multiple times before other officers saw what was happening and opened fire, killing him. She later died of her wounds in hospital.
Meanwhile nearby, Palestinians fired at officers with an automatic weapon and attacked them with knives before officers returned fire, killing them.
Since September 2015, Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Israel identified most of them as attackers.
Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.
Palestinians say it stems from anger over decades of Israeli rule in territory they claim for their state.