Israeli forces have shot dead five Palestinians, including three teenagers, in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, after they allegedly attacked Israeli forces.

In the first incident, the Israeli army shot and killed two 15-year-old boys in Araqa, west of Jenin, after the Israeli soldiers allegedly came under attack.

The Israeli army said in a statement on Sunday that one of the boys was armed with a rifle and shot at the soldiers.

"The perpetrators hurled rocks at passing vehicles west of Jenin. When forces arrived at the scene, an assailant opened fire at the soldiers. The force responded to the shooting and fired towards the attackers, resulting in their deaths," the statement said.

The teenage victims were identified as Nihad Raed Waked and Fuad Marwan Waked, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Later on Sunday, a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead after an alleged stabbing attack by the Mazmuriya checkpoint north of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the teenager as Naeem Ahmad Safi from Ebideyeh, north east of Bethlehem.

Also on Sunday, a young Palestinian woman allegedly tried to stab an Israeli policeman but was shot in the attempt in the West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli police said.

She was taken to hospital in critical condition.


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Police said that the woman drew a knife on a border police officer at a checkpoint and the officer, who was unharmed, shot her. She was identified as Yasmin al-Zaru, 20.

The incident took place near the shared religious site known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Tensions are high at the site - a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead in a stabbing attempt there on Saturday.

Late on Sunday violence also flared in central Jerusalem when two Palestinians allegedly attacked Israeli police just outside the Old City walls before being shot dead by officers, police told AFP news agency.

A police statement later said that one was spotted carrying a bag in a way that made officers suspicious. When they ordered him to drop the bag he allegedly pulled out a weapon and took aim, but was shot dead before he could pull the trigger, according to the Israeli police statement.

The statement added that a second gunman then opened fire but was killed by police without wounding any officers, it said.

Israeli police said the attackers, both about 20, were armed with "improvised automatic weapons".

The Palestinian Health Ministry said 176 Palestinians have been killed since violence erupted in the occupied territories in early October, with near-daily reports of alleged attacks that resulted in killings by Israeli security forces.

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

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies