JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli policeman with a screwdriver, slightly wounding him, in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, and the assailant was shot and killed by police, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed in violence in Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip since October 2015. Israel says at least 156 of them were assailants in lone attacks often targeting security forces and using rudimentary weapons including kitchen knives. Others died during clashes and protests.

The street assaults killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans over the same period.

The latest attack occurred inside the walled Old City in East Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel along with the West Bank in a 1967 war. Police released a photo of a screwdriver they said the Palestinian assailant used to stab the policeman in the head.


"The terrorist was shot by police units that responded. The policeman was treated at the scene for minor injuries," the spokesman said. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the assailant died in hospital.

Palestinians have accused Israeli police and soldiers of using excessive force against assailants, saying many could have been stopped or detained without being killed. In several cases, Israel has opened investigations.

Israel says one of the main causes of the violence has been incitement by the Palestinian leadership, with young men encouraged to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation, frustrated by the Israeli occupation of land Palestinians want for their own state.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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