Two Israelis dead
Israeli forensic police cover the body of a Palestinian assailant who was shot dead following a stabbing attack next to Jerusalems Old City Jaffa Gate on 23 December 2015AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

Two Israeli men have died after one was stabbed and the other was accidentally shot by police following a knife attack by two Palestinians in Jerusalem. Both of the Palestinian men, aged 20 and 21, were killed by Israeli police.

It is the latest knife attack in an upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the past three months with attacks, revenge attacks and clashes with police taking place across Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. Since September, 21 Israelis and 131 Palestinians have died in the violent clashes.

The attack took place on 23 December near the Jaffa Gate, an entrance to Jerusalem's Old City. Israeli police have said that increased security has been implemented ahead of Christmas.

The Israeli men killed in the attack have been named as Ofer Ben-Ari, 46, a married father of two who died after being shot by police as they tried to take down the Palestinian assailants and Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, who died of multiple stab wounds. A third Israeli was also stabbed in the incident and remains in a critical condition.

The Israeli police said officers had been alerted to the incident by a frenzied civilian who was running at them. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that it was an "organised" attack by "two terrorists".

"We can see that this was an organised attack by two terrorists that co-ordinated together, but we don't see at this moment in time any connections between any organised terrorist cell," he told the Jerusalem Post.

"As a result, three Israelis were injured; two of them seriously, one of them moderately- to-seriously. Two female Border Police officers who were in the area responded, ran to the scene, spotted the terrorists and shot them."

The assailants were said to have been Palestinians from Qalandia in the occupied West Bank.