Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian teenage girl near a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The Palestinian health ministry also confirmed the death, identifying the girl as 17-year-old Kilzar Mohd Abdulhaleem al-Owiwi from Hebron.

The Israeli army said the young woman was killed after attempting to stab a soldier on Saturday.

"An assailant drew a knife and attempted to stab a soldier," the army said in a statement.

According to local media reports, the woman could be as young as 16.

Sources told Al Jazeera the woman was shot near a shared religious site in Hebron known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Hebron is a regular flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with several hundred Israeli settlers living in Jewish-only settlements in the heart of the city under heavy military guard among about 200,000 Palestinians.

Protests against Israel's ongoing occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, have become increasingly violent in recent months.

Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 173 Palestinians, including bystanders, unarmed demonstrators and attackers.

At least 27 Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.

More than half a million Israelis live in more than 150 Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank, including in several enclaves within East Jerusalem's Palestinian neighbourhoods.

Residing in heavily guarded communities, settlers are protected by both Israeli security forces and private security guards.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies