Israeli security forces shot dead two Palestinians in separate incidents on Friday in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, police and the military said.
In Jerusalem, another Palestinian man stabbed two police officers outside the walled Old City before they opened fire and killed him. Police confirmed the death of the Palestinian, identifying him as a 20-year-old Palestinian from Kafr Aqab.
The injured officers by stab wounds to the upper body were treated on the scene by Magen David Adom medics and evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Hospital in the city.
A few hours later, in the West Bank, a Palestinian man attempted to run over Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Silwad, near Ramallah. The soldiers then shot him dead.
Since October, a wave of heightened violence prolonged into its fifth month including stabbings, shootings and car rammings by Palestinians leaving 28 Israelis and a U.S. citizen dead. Israeli security forces have killed at least 165 Palestinians.
The bloodshed has raised concern of wider escalation a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided.
Briefing the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. envoy on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, said he was afraid the violence may be entering “a new troubling phase”.
Mladenov called on both Palestinian and Israeli leaders to provide “a political horizon to their people” and castoff incitement by what he called radicals in their own camps.
Tensions have been fueled by various factors including a dispute over Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound and the disappointment by the failing rounds of peace talks to secure the Palestinians an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Palestinian leaders have said that with no advance on the horizon, desperate youngsters see no future ahead. Israel says young Palestinians are being incited to violence by their leaders and by groups seeking Israel’s destruction.
Also, economic adversity and social media are contributing to triggering attacks, noted security officials.
On Sunday, a 20-year-old Palestinian woman was shot while trying to stab an Israeli policeman in the flashpoint city of Hebron. Israeli border police tried to keep back Palestinians in the area who attempted to approach the woman, leaving her in critical condition. Also, an Israeli officer pushed a man in the wheelchair, tipping him over backwards.
On Thursday two Palestinian 14-year-olds stabbed and killed an Israeli in a supermarket in the occupied West Bank before an armed civilian shot and wounded the teens, who were taken for treatment to Israeli hospitals in Jerusalem.