Israeli Policewoman Dies as Palestinians Ramp Up Weapons

An Israeli policewoman was killed and another badly wounded in Jerusalem’s Old City by Palestinians carrying knives, rifles and explosive devices, the heaviest arsenal used in four months of violence.

Police shot dead the three assailants after two of them opened fire outside Damascus Gate, and found the various types of weapons on their bodies, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with senior cabinet members and defense officials and decided to shut off access to the attackers’ home town near Jenin, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The violence that began in October has been dominated by stabbings, and lesser numbers of shootings and deliberate hit-and-run attacks. The weapons profile has changed in recent weeks, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

“This is the second or third time we see guns and explosive devices being integrated into attacks in just the last two weeks,” Rosenfeld said. “We are heightening our security measures in and around Jerusalem.”

More than two dozen Israelis and about 170 Palestinians, most of them attackers, have died in the violence. Palestinians say assailants are lashing out in despair over the Israeli occupation, while Israeli officials blame incitement that’s found widespread exposure on social media.

Husam Badran, a spokesman for Hamas in the West Bank, welcomed Wednesday’s attack, saying that his movement “blesses the heroic operation carried out by three men of resistance near Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem,” according to an e-mailed statement.

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