(Reuters) – An Israeli security officer shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab him at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli police said.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the Palestinian approached the officer, pulled a knife from under his shirt and lunged at him. The assailant was shot during the struggle, Samri said.
At least 229 Palestinians have been killed in violence in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip since October 2015. Israel says at least 155 of them were assailants in a wave of lone attacks often targeting security forces and using rudimentary weapons including kitchen knives. Others died during clashes and protests.
The street assaults killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans over the same period.
Palestinians have accused Israeli police and soldiers of using excessive force in many cases, saying many assailants could have been stopped or detained without being killed. In several cases, Israel has opened investigations.
Israel says one of the main causes of the violence is incitement by the Palestinian leadership, with young men encouraged to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation, frustrated by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem, territories which the Palestinians want for their own state.
Israel captured those lands in the 1967 Middle East war, and maintains tight restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in some areas, especially West Bank checkpoints that border Israel. The last round peace talks between the sides collapsed in 2014.
(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; editing by Mark Heinrich)