Two dead in Palestinian stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, Israeli police say
An Israeli policeman prevents a Palestinian man from entering the compound which houses al-Aqsa mosque, known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City September 15, 2015. The U.S. State Department on Monday voiced concern about violence at the compound surrounding Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, an area revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian attacker fatally stabbed two people in a Tel Aviv office building on Thursday, police said, raising to 16 the number of Israelis who have died, along with 79 Palestinians, in a wave of violence over the past seven weeks.

A police spokeswoman said the assailant was apprehended and that he had attacked worshippers who gathered for afternoon prayers in a shop that sells Jewish religious items in the building. A third person was wounded, she said.

Police say 48 of the 79 Palestinians killed in recent weeks died at the scene of attacks on Israelis and most of the rest died in violent protests in the occupied West Bank and near the Gaza border.

Palestinian allegations that Israel was trying to alter the religious status quo at a Jerusalem holy site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque stands, and to Jews as Temple Mount, have partly fuelled the violence.

Non-Muslim prayer is banned around al-Aqsa and Israel has said it will not change that. But more visits in recent years by Jewish religious activists and ultra-nationalist Israeli politicians to the complex, where two biblical temples once stood, have done little to convince the Palestinians.

Earlier on Thursday, three Palestinian women attempted to infiltrate an Israeli military post in the West Bank, the military said.

Soldiers apprehended them, and the military said three knives were found in their possession.

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