palestinian man shot dead
A Palestinian man was shot dead after he drew a knife and tried to stab Israeli security forcesReuters

Three Palestinians who targeted Jews in knife attacks have been killed, according to Israeli forces. In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli pedestrian on Saturday (17 October), according to the Israel Defence Forces. But the Israeli civilian was armed and shot and killed the assailant, the IDF press office told CNN.

In other incidents, Israeli border police approached a Palestinian man in the Armon Hanatsiv neighborhood of Jerusalem, when a man pulled a knife and tried to stab the officers. According to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri: "The policemen fired and neutralised" the suspect.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services confirmed in a statement that the Palestinian man had died of his injuries. Palestinian sources identified the alleged assailant as 18-year-old Fadel al-Kawatsmi and confirmed his death.

Also in Hebron, a female Palestinian stabbed an Israeli border policewoman, cutting her hand, a police spokesman said. The policewoman then shot her assailant, killing her.

At least 40 Palestinians and seven Israelis have died in the violence, which was partly caused by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound. The latest incidents have sparked fears that a third Palestinian intifada – an uprising against Israeli occupation – could break out.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday on the upsurge of violence. Opening the meeting, UN Assistant Secretary-General Taye-Brook Zerihoun welcomed repeated assurances by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the status quo at the flashpoint holy compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, would not change.

But he said that "reckless statements made by Palestinian and Israeli extremist elements reinforced by some mainstream voices as well" had created a different impression. A second factor behind the recent escalation in violence was the "heavy-handed approach by the Israeli security services", he said in a BBC report.

The Israeli deputy ambassador to the UN, David Roet, defended Israel's approach, saying it faced an enemy "willing to die in order to kill" and was "responding proportionately".

US President Barack Obama said he was "very concerned about the outbreak of violence" and urged leaders on both sides to "try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding".