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Palestinian killed in knife attack on Israeli police officer

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli police after he attacked an officer with a knife in Jerusalem. The police officer was protected by a vest and unharmed.

The attack was the latest in a wave of Palestinian knife attacks on Israeli security forces and citizens over the past 10 days which have complicated efforts to prevent what are largely unorganized and random acts - and which have left five Israelis dead.

The cycle of violence started with the shooting of a settler couple on October 1 in the Occupied West Bank, which prompted retaliatory attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian villages. On October 3, a Palestinian killed two Israelis in Jerusalem in the first of a series of knife attacks.

Israel has responded with a crackdown, provoking a spiral of violence and unrest that has prompted fears of a third Palestinian uprising, or intifada. On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet called up 16 reserve border police units to bolster forces in Jerusalem and around the country.

Israeli forces have killed at least 25 Palestinians, including 9 attackers, and wounded more than 100 in clashes in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

Watch video 01:13

Israeli-Palestinian violence soars

Palestinians continued protesting over the weekend, burning tires, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces. Israeli forces have responded with live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas stun grenades and "skunk," a foul smelling non-lethal spray.

Human Rights Watch on Sunday condemned the escalation of violence and the "indiscriminate or deliberate firing on observers and demonstrators who pose no imminent threat." The rights group condemned Israeli forces for shooting and wounding one of its observers during a demonstration last week.

On Sunday, Israeli forces conducted an airstrike in Gaza in response to two rockets fired by Hamas at Israel. The airstrikes on what Israel said targeted a Hamas arms manufacturing facility killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her two-year-old toddler.

Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, in a phone call with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, urged for an end to violence and the proportionate use of force.

cw/kms (AFP, AP)

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