Police on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian woman after she tried to stab a policeman near Jerusalem's walled Old City, police and radio reports said.

The policeman was not hurt because he was wearing a flak jacket. The protective jackets became mandatory for police patrols in Arab east Jerusalem after a spate of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against police and other Israelis in the wake of last month's Temple Mount killings.Saturday's incident began in midmorning when police questioned three Palestinians at the east Jerusalem bus station opposite the Old City's Damascus Gate, Israel radio said.

Suddenly a woman emerged from the crowd and lunged toward one of the policemen with a knife, police spokesman Aharon Elhayani said. The knife did not penetrate the flak jacket.

Another policeman opened fire, shooting the woman in the head. She was taken in serious condition to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital where she later died, Elhayani said.

The woman, in her 40s, wore a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress and pink headscarf, a witness said. She could not be identified because she did not carry an identification card, the radio said.

Another policeman suffered cuts in the hand during the scuffle with the assailant.

In the occupied Gaza Strip, two suspected Palestinian informers were killed by fellow Arabs.