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Centenary of Balfour Declaration which paved the way for Israel

Exactly 100 years ago, a letter written by the then Foreign Secretary Sir Arthur Balfour paved the way for the creation of a Jewish State.

At the end of the First World War the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Britain took control of much of the Middle East, including Palestine under an international mandate.

Following the end of the Second World War and after large numbers of Jews had settled in Palestine, the mandate expired and the State of Israel was created.

Immediately the first of several wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours broke out, and to the present day, the conflict remains unresolved.

While for many Israelis the Balfour Declaration has come to be seen as the first step towards the homeland they craved for centuries, for many Palestinians it means something rather different.

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Israeli police shoot dead alleged Palestinian attacker

Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian man today after he reportedly stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem.

Police shot dead the man after he wounded two officers in a knife attack Credit: Reuters

The alleged attacker was shot by officers after an assault on two officers outside the walled Old City.

Israeli police described the man as a "terrorist," saying he had "stabbed and lightly wounded" his victims.

"The team responded by gunfire and neutralised the terrorist," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

In a continued state of heightened violence, 164 Palestinians and 28 Israelis have been killed since October.

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Palestinian woman shot dead by Israeli security forces

The incident happened near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Credit: Google Maps

A Palestinian woman who allegedly tried to stab a soldier was shot dead by Israeli security forces on Saturday, Israel's military has said.

No Israelis were injured in the attack, which happened in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

"An assailant drew a knife and attempted to stab a soldier," the army said in a statement. "Responding to the attack, forces fired at the perpetrator, resulting in her death."

The army said the incident occurred near Hebron's shared religious site known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, a site of frequent friction between the sides.

Since the start of October, 27 Israelis have been killed during a series of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings. According to Israeli authorities, at least 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the same period.

Palestinian peace negotiator arrested for spying

Palestinian officials say they have arrested a member of their peace negotiating department for spying for Israel.

The man, whose name was not released, is part of the management staff in the umbrella Palestinian Liberation Organisation's (PLO) negotiations department and is accused of "collaborating with Israel", a security official told Reuters news agency.

Palestinians take part in a protest just outside Jerusalem's Old City Credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters

Another official said the suspect had been arrested two weeks ago.

The development likely to deepen distrust between the sides at a time of deadlocked diplomacy and simmering street violence.

Israeli officials did not immediately respond.

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