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Teenage 'attackers' killed by Israeli police in West Bank attacks

Israeli police have killed five Palestinians who targeted the security forces in a series of attacks, Israel officials said. The latest bout of violence comes as the US diplomat Samantha Power is visiting the country.

Two Palestinians fired automatic weapons at Israeli security forces near Jerusalem's old city walls, police said late Sunday.

The "terrorists were shot and killed" and no policemen were injured, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told an AFP reporter at the scene.

This is the fourth in Sunday's series of attacks on Israeli troops, authorities claim.

Youths suspected of attacking police

Previously, border police shot a veiled young woman in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after she allegedly pulled a knife out of her bag and tried to stab an officer, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

The attacker was a 20-year-old Palestinian, according to the police. An Israeli army vehicle took her to the hospital in critical condition.

Israel Palästina Konflikt

Israeli soldier aims at protesters near Jenin

Also on Sunday, a 17-year old Palestinian was shot at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem, as he allegedly charged at border policemen with a knife.

Only hours earlier, Israeli soldiers shot dead two more Palestinian minors in a crowd of protesters west of the Palestinian city of Jenin.

The two 15-year olds were in a group which was hurling stones at Israeli drivers, before one allegedly started shooting at the troops with a rifle and the other one drew a knife.

US diplomat seeking talks

Many of the attackers in

the latest bout of ethnically charged violence

were teenagers who presumably acted alone, with no known links to Islamist groups.

Israel has blamed the escalation on Muslim leaders who "brainwash" youths and "glorify martyrdom." Palestinians, in turn, have blamed Israeli oppression.

Some 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since early October, allegedly during anti-Israeli attacks and violent rallies. The attacks also claimed the lives of 26 Israelis, an American, a Sudanese and an Eritrean.

International efforts at halting the attacks have been largely unsuccessful. The US ambassador in the UN, Samantha Power, is currently visiting Israel for talks with leaders from both sides.

Powers intends to discuss her country's "commitment to two states side-by-side in security and peace," she said.

dj/jm (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)

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