A Palestinian assailant behind a pair of recent shooting attacks has been killed by Israeli forces, after firing at them with an automatic weapon .

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that in a joint operation with the military early on Sunday forces tracked down the suspect.

The the 34-year-old Palestinian, identified by police as Amar Ahmad Halil of Nabi Saleh according to The Times of Israel,  opened fire at the forces with an automatic weapon. The troops returned fire, shooting him dead.

The assailant was said to have been behind a drive by shooting on Saturday at the West Bank settlement of Ateret.

On Friday, three Arab citizens of Israel opened fire at a Jerusalem holy site, killing two police officers before being shot dead. In a first in decades, the site was closed. Israel says it will be gradually reopened.

Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 45 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist. Israeli forces have killed more than 255 Palestinians, most of them identified as attackers.