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Police shoot assailant dead during attempted Jerusalem stabbing attack

Israel policeman directs an ambulance at the scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, March 18, 2018
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

An Israeli Arab man was shot dead in Jerusalem's Old City Friday after he tried to stab a group of police officers, Israel Police said.

The 30-year-old man, whose name was not given, attempted to stab police shortly after leaving the city's Temple Mount holy site, according to a police statement.

"After a struggle between police and the suspect, he was shot by police" and killed, the statement said. No-one else was injured during the attempted attack.

Police said the suspect was from the northern Israeli city of Umm Al-Fahm.

Israel Police

They distributed a picture of a short knife used by the assailant.

Afterwards police closed access to the Temple Mount, which houses Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. A small protest was held later in the evening calling for access to be restored. 

Stabbing attacks in the old city have largely subsided after a wave of incidents from late 2015 to early 2017.

While violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has spiked since late March, the West Bank has been relatively calm.

Israeli officials have previously said that they have dramatically improved their ability to thwart planned attacks, including through intensive monitoring of social media activity by Palestinian residents of the West Bank.

Read more:

Two Palestinians killed as thousands protest along Israel-Gaza border

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