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Two Palestinians Dead After Attacking Israeli Forces, Police Say

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They attempted to ram their vehicles into soldiers and border police before being fatally shot.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians Wednesday who had attacked Israeli security forces during an overnight raid in the West Bank, police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the Palestinians attempted to ram their vehicles into soldiers and border policemen before they were fatally shot. Samri said the forces were conducting arrests and confiscating weapons in the Qalandiya refugee camp, near Ramallah.

Palestinians a look at a car used in an attempted ramming attack on Israeli soldiers in the Qalandia Refugee Camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian activist Raed Hamdan identified the two as Ahmad Jahajha, a 21-year-old resident of the Qalandiya camp, and Hikmat Hamdan, 29, from the nearby town of el-Bireh.

It was the latest incident in three months of near-daily Palestinian attacks on Israelis that began in mid-September. The violence erupted over tensions at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem, sacred to both Jews and Muslims, and quickly escalated and spread.

Palestinians look at a car used in an attempted ramming attack on Israeli soldiers in the Qalandia refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Since mid-September, Palestinians have killed 19 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks. At least 115 Palestinians have been killed in the same period, of whom 78 Israel has identified as assailants.

Israel says the violence is fanned by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement. The Palestinians say it is the result of frustrations stemming from Israel's nearly 50-year occupation.

Palestinians look at a car used in an attempted ramming attack on Israeli soldiers in the Qalandia refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

In his annual pre-Christmas address, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, called for calm to be restored.

"What a suffering it is, to once again see our beloved Holy Land caught in the vicious cycle of bloody violence," he said. "Enough! We are tired of this conflict as we see the Holy Land sullied with blood."

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