Palestinian teenager shot dead after two Israelis stabbed in Jerusalem's Old City

Attacks came hours before final Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al Aqsa mosque

Israeli security personnel patrol the area outside Damascus gate following a security incident by the gate in Jerusalem's old city, May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
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Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday after he allegedly stabbed two Israelis.

Israeli police said one of the Israelis was in a critical condition and the other suffered serious wounds, and identified their attacker as a 19-year-old Palestinian.

"Police units that responded at the scene saw the attacker with a knife. The attacker was shot and killed by police units," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The Old City in annexed East Jerusalem has been the scene of numerous stabbings of Israelis by wildcat Palestinian assailants in recent years.

The attacks came hours before thousands of worshippers were expected to gather at the Old City's Al Aqsa mosque compound for the last Friday prayers of Ramadan.

The last Friday of the Muslim holy month is also observed in many countries in the Middle East as Quds Day to commemorate the capture of East Jerusalem by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It was later annexed in a move not recognised by the international community.

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump broke with decades of bipartisan policy to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a move that prompted the Palestinians to cut all contacts with his administration and which has sent tensions soaring.

Israel insists the whole of Jerusalem is its "eternal, indivisible capital". The Palestinians demand the city's eastern sector as the capital of their long promised state.

On Thursday evening, Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem as part of a Middle East tour before Washington unveils its long-awaited plan for Israel-Palestinian peace.

Mr Kushner, accompanied by Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Jerusalem after earlier stops in Morocco and Jordan.

He is a key architect of the peace plan that the White House says it intends to present in the coming weeks.

But the plan, previously delayed for an Israeli general election on April 9, could face further postponements due to Israeli politics.

Israel is set to hold another general election in September after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government, and the plan is widely seen as too sensitive an issue to introduce during a political campaign.

The Palestinian leadership has rejected the peace plan without seeing it, saying Mr Trump has shown himself to be blatantly biased in favour of Israel.

They cite moves including declaring the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel's capital and cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian aid.

Mr Trump has also handed Mr Netanyahu other diplomatic coups, notably US recognition of Israel's 1981 annexation of the strategic Golan Heights captured from Syria in the 1967 war.

On Thursday, Mr Kushner delivered Mr Netanyahu a gift from Mr Trump, a map of Israel signed and approvingly annotated by the US president showing the Golan as inside the Jewish state's borders.