A Palestinian woman attempted to stab Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City today and was shot dead, Israeli authorities said, the latest in a five-month wave of such attacks.

The incident occurred hours before US Vice President Joe Biden was due to arrive for talks with Israeli Prime Ministerand Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Israeli police said the woman moved toward border police officers, pulled a knife from her bag and sought to stab them near Damascus Gate, the main entrance used by Palestinians to enter the walled Old City where several attacks have occurred.

The woman was said to be around 50 years old and from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, where Damascus Gate is also located.

Violence in and the Palestinian territories since October has killed 182 Palestinians as well as 28 Israelis, an American, a Sudanese and an Eritrean.

Most of the Palestinians who died in the violence were killed while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or demonstrations.

The number of attacks has diminished recently, but increased Israeli security has failed to stop them entirely.

Many analysts say Palestinian frustration with Israeli occupation and settlement building in the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have fed the unrest.

Israel blames incitement by Palestinian leaders and media as a main cause of the violence.


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