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Middle East World

Palestinian assailant kills two people in Jerusalem, then shot dead – police (Update)

Israeli police secure the area following a shooting incident in what an Israeli police spokesperson described as a terrorist attack, near police headquarters in Jerusalem

A Palestinian assailant, firing from a car, killed a pedestrian and a police officer in Jerusalem on Sunday before being shot dead by Israeli police, police and medical officials said.

The incident, near Israeli national police headquarters, began when shots were fired from a vehicle at people waiting at a tram stop, the spokeswoman said.

The assailant then drove off and was shot dead in an exchange of fire with police, she said.

Medical officials said six people were wounded in the attack, and that two of them, a woman and a police officer, died in hospital. Police identified the assailant as a 39-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

In the past year, Palestinians, many acting alone and often with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 35 Israelis and two visiting Americans in attacks.

During that period, at least 220 Palestinians have died in violent incidents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Of those, 149 were identified by authorities as assailants while others were killed during clashes and protests.

Israel says anti-Israeli incitement by Palestinian officials and on social media networks is stoking attacks.

Palestinian leaders say assailants are acting out of desperation over the collapse in 2014 of peace talks and the expansion of Israeli settlements on occupied land that Palestinians seek for an independent state.

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