Two Palestinians have been shot dead after an alleged stabbing in an illegal Israeli settlement southwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Israeli authorities alleged the pair stabbed two women in the settlement of Beit Horon before the unidentified men were killed by a guard on Monday evening.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said the alleged attack left the Israeli women wounded - one moderately, the other seriously. He also said bomb disposal experts were diffusing two explosive devices at the scene.

The incident increased the Palestinian death toll since the start of the unrest last October to 165. At least 25 Israelis have also been killed.

The wave of violence started after right-wing Israelis carried out incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of East Jerusalem, the third holiest site for Muslims.

Unrest has since spread throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Palestinian communities in Israel.

Source: Al Jazeera