The latest attack in Gaza is one of the deadliest in the past two years, killing six Palestinians, including a young girl, and wounding more than 100.
It is the latest in a string of Palestinian attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that have claimed the lives of scores of Israelis and sparked a renewed push by the Palestinian Authority for direct negotiations with Israel.
The latest incident, which took place in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, occurred on Saturday evening and was carried out by three Palestinian assailants, a Palestinian security official said.
The attackers, identified as Mohammad Abd al-Rahman, Ibrahim al-Shahbari and Mohammed al-Bakr, are cousins, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Abd al-Rasha, an Israeli police spokesman, said the assailants were “suspected of involvement in the stabbing attacks” in the compound that led to the deaths of five Israelis and wounded eight others, including two policemen.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent meeting of the Palestinian Security Council on Monday to address the recent attacks and to renew efforts to resume direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The two sides have not been able to reach a peace deal in the last six years, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the core of the conflict.
The Palestinians have long said they were not ready to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel, but this latest attack comes as Israel has stepped up attacks on Gaza, including its military operation in late December, which has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians.
A senior Israeli military official said Israel is planning to expand the operation into the occupied West Bank in response to the Palestinian incursion into Jerusalem.
He said the operation is designed to ensure that the Israeli army is able to defend itself against the infiltration of Palestinians and Hamas militants into the holy sites of the two faiths.
On Monday, Israeli officials said that a soldier had been killed and another was injured when an explosion rocked a checkpoint in the eastern Gaza Strip, in a retaliatory attack on an attack by the Islamic Jihad militant group that killed three soldiers.
Israel has repeatedly targeted Palestinian militant groups and infrastructure in Gaza, launching airstrikes and raids that have killed hundreds of militants and destroyed thousands of homes.
The Gaza Strip has been hit by an unprecedented wave of rocket attacks, many of them from Gaza, in recent months.
Israel says the rockets are aimed at the civilian population of Gaza and that the rockets pose no threat to Israel.
But it has blamed Hamas for the attacks, accusing it of trying to create a “caliphate” in Gaza.
Hamas and the Palestinian militant group are not recognized states by the international community and both refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on December 28 to halt the rocket fire and to restore calm to the Gaza Strip.
Since then, Hamas militants have carried out rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
The operation has killed hundreds and wounded thousands of people.