Israeli police shot two Palestinians who stabbed a resident of a town near Jerusalem on Thursday, in a wave of violence that will be the focus of talks later in the day between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A police spokeswoman said the Palestinians were seriously wounded in the incident and that the man they attacked at a bus stop in the town of Beit Shemesh was also wounded. All three were taken to hospital.

Nine Israelis have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks since the start of October, while 48 Palestinians, including 24 attackers, among them children, have been killed by Israeli security forces in response.

Among the causes of the turmoil is Palestinians' anger at what they see as Jewish encroachment on the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's walled Old City, Islam's holiest site outside Saudi Arabia, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two ancient Jewish temples.

Netanyahu has pledged to maintain a decades-old "status quo" at the compound that bans Jews from praying there, and has denied Palestinian allegations that he intends to change the arrangement.

As Israeli security forces and civilians become ever more jittery, a Jewish seminary student mistaken for an attacker was shot dead by soldiers on Wednesday at a busy intersection in Jerusalem, police said.

An Eritrean migrant was shot by a security guard and beaten by an angry crowd of Israelis in the town of Beersheba on Sunday. He died in hospital of his wounds, and four suspects alleged to have participated in what Israel's defence minister termed a lynching were due to appear in court on Thursday.

Kerry was to meet Netanyahu in Berlin, where the Israeli leader is on an official visit. A State Department spokesman said Kerry would be looking for practical ways to end the surge of violence.

On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but after two days of discussions in the region appeared no nearer to stemming the bloodshed.