At least three people have been killed during a shooting at a Jewish settlement near the occupied West Bank. A fourth person is critically wounded, according to reports.

The incident occurred at the Har Adar settlement on Tuesday (26 September) morning.

The attacker, thought to be a 37-year-old Palestinian from the nearby Bayt Surik village, arrived at the rear entrance of the settlement and opened fire at security officers and the community's private guards, who were opening the entrance to Palestinian workers, the Times of Israel reported.

He was later shot dead by other forces present at the scene.

"In this mornings shooting attack, two security guards and one border policeman were murdered. Heightened security continues in Jerusalem," police spokesperson Micky Ronsefled said in a statement on Twitter.

The shooting took place weeks after Israel and the Palestinian territories witnessed a fresh round of violence sparked by security measures implemented around a holy site, holy to both Jews and Muslims.

Israel installed metal detectors at the holy site – known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, home to the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock – after two police officers were shot dead by Israeli-Arab gunmen.

The move triggered protests from Palestinians, who saw it as a punitive measure. Tensions further increased after Israel placed a temporary ban on Muslim men under the age of 50 from entering the holy site.

Muslim leaders claimed the restrictions were a way for Israel to expand its control over the site. This was denied by Jerusalem, which said the decision aimed to to prevent further violence.

Following weeks-long deadly clashes, Israel removed the metal detectors, but it said it would install sophisticated security cameras, a decision Palestinians still see in a negative light.

Palestinians have killed 48 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shooting and car-ramming attacks since September 2015, according to AP.

During that same time frame, Israeli forces have killed over 255 Palestinians. Israel said most of those killed were either attackers of people who died in clashes with Israeli forces.

Otniel Hebron West Bank murder
An Israeli soldier guards near the Jewish settlement of Otniel in the West Bank January 17, 2016 REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun