JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Knife-wielding Palestinians attacked Israelis in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and one of assailants was shot dead, police said.
Five people, including two suspected Palestinian assailants, were wounded in the incidents at an Israeli paramilitary police checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus and a light rail station in East Jerusalem, ambulance officials said.
This month's wave of violence, the worst since the 2014 Gaza war, has in part been spurred by religious and political tensions over a site in Jerusalem's walled Old City sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
An increased number of visits by religious Jews to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque plaza - Islam's holiest site outside Saudi Arabia and revered in Judaism as the location of two destroyed biblical temples - have spurred Palestinian allegations that Israel is violating a "status quo" under which Jewish prayer there is banned.
Israel has pledged to abide by the decades-old arrangement at the site and says false allegations by Palestinian officials, echoed in Arab social media, that it intends to encroach on Muslim rights of worship have been inciting violence.
Since the latest unrest began on Oct. 1, at least 63 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israelis. Of those, 36 were assailants armed mainly with knives, Israel said, while others were shot during violent anti-Israel protests. Many were teens.
Eleven Israelis have been killed in stabbings and shootings.
On Friday, two Palestinians used a motorcycle to reach an Israeli paramilitary police checkpoint at a junction near a Jewish settlement outside Nablus, dismounted and rushed at the troopers with knives drawn, a police spokeswoman said.
They lightly wounded one policeman before being shot by a policewoman at the scene, the spokeswoman said. One of the Palestinians was killed and the other critically wounded.
Palestinian ambulances took the wounded man to a hospital.
In the second incident, a Palestinian was shot and critically wounded by security guards after carrying out a knife attack at a light railway station near Jerusalem's Old City, medical officials and police said.
They said two people, believed to be Israelis, were wounded in the incident. One was stabbed and another was shot, having been hit by gunfire directed at the assailant, they said.
Palestinians are also frustrated by the failure of numerous rounds of peace talks to secure them an independent state in territories, including the West Bank, that Israel captured in a 1967 war. The last phase of negotiations collapsed in 2014.
Jerusalem had in recent days been spared violence as it shifted to West Bank areas like the city of Hebron, site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, another shrine holy to Muslims and Jews.
On Friday, Palestinians in Hebron said Israel had announced it would declare the area around the cave compound a "closed military zone" after the weekly Muslim prayers.
Asked about this, the Israeli military released a statement saying only that "several precautionary measures were taken in order to contain potential attacks in the future and maintain the safety and well being of Israelis" in Hebron, where there is a small Jewish settlement.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Heinrich)