Middle East

Jerusalem attack: Israeli border guard dies after shooting

Members of the Zaka Rescue and Recovery team carry the bodies of Palestinians shot dead after carrying out what Israeli police said was a shooting and stabbing attack outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City (3 February 2016) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Palestinian men attacked the border guards after being asked for their papers, police said

A female Israeli border guard has died in hospital after an attack by three young Palestinian men in Jerusalem, Israeli police say.

Another female guard was wounded in the attack and remains in hospital in a moderate condition.

A police spokesman said the woman who died was 19-year-old Hadar Cohen from Or Yehuda in Tel Aviv.

The men opened fire at the guards at an entrance to the Old City, before being shot dead by Israeli security forces.

In the past four months, 29 Israelis have been killed in a wave of stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.

More than 160 Palestinians - mostly attackers, Israel says - have also been killed in that period.

The assailants who have been killed have either been shot dead by their victims or security forces as they carried out attacks. Some attackers have been arrested.

Other Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Pipe-bombs

Wednesday's attack in the bustling street of market stalls at the Damascus Gate of the Old City followed a grimly familiar pattern, reports the BBC's Kevin Connolly in Jerusalem.

The three Palestinians were challenged by the border guards, who asked to see their identification cards, Israeli police said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Israeli authorities have been unable to halt the wave of attacks

At least one then produced a firearm and shot the guards. Other Israeli security forces at the scene then shot and killed the three assailants.

Police said the men were carrying three automatic weapons, as well as knives and two pipe-bombs.

Palestinian media reported that they all came from the town of Qabatiya, near Jenin in the northern West Bank, while Israel's Shin Bet security agency said they had no prior involvement in terrorist activities.

Our correspondent says the wave of violent incidents shows no sign of abating, and although the attacks are sporadic they are persistent.

Some Israeli politicians accuse Palestinian politicians of incitement and many Palestinians blame the readiness of the Israeli security forces to resort to lethal force for further inflaming the mood.

But, our correspondent adds, it does seem as though the incidents are spontaneous, with attackers drawing motivation from material on social media rather than following orders from any militant organisation.