RAMALLAH - A Palestinian opened fire at a checkpoint near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Sunday, wounding three Israelis before being shot dead, officials said, the latest in four months of violence.

An attempted car-ramming also occurred later in the day at a military checkpoint in the West Bank north of Jerusalem, with the attacker shot and taken to hospital for treatment, Israel's military said. No Israelis were reported wounded. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticised France's threat to recognise a Palestinian state, arguing that it gives Palestinians no incentive to compromise.

"This will be an incentive for the Palestinians to come and not compromise," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. "The substance of negotiations is compromise and the French initiative, as it has been reported, in effect gives the Palestinians in advance reasons not to do so."

Earlier, the Israeli army said the shooting attack took place near the Beit El settlement, close to Ramallah. Israeli medics said two of the three wounded had serious injuries. "A gunman opened fire near Beit El, north of Jerusalem," the Israeli military said in a statement.

"Forces at the scene responded to the attack and shot the assailant, resulting in his death. Three Israelis were wounded and are being evacuated for emergency medical treatment in hospital."

It was not immediately clear whether the victims were civilians or members of the security forces.

An AFP journalist saw the body of the Palestinian man killed near the checkpoint. A bullet-riddled silver car apparently used in the attack was next to the body.

The car had plates seeming to indicate it belonged to the Palestinian government.

A Palestinian intelligence source said Israeli authorities had informed them that the man, Amjad Sukari Abu Omar, around 30 years old, worked as a bodyguard for the Palestinian attorney general's office.

Palestinian ambulances sought to move toward the body, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli soldiers. The body was later handed over to Palestinian authorities.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks erupted in October. Most of the attacks have been stabbings, though shootings have occasionally occurred.

The violence has killed 25 Israelis, as well as an American and an Eritrean, according to an AFP count.

At the same time, 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most while carrying out attacks but others during clashes and demonstrations.

Some analysts say Palestinian frustration with Israel's occupation of the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have helped feed the unrest.

Israel says incitement by Palestinian leaders and media is a main cause of the violence.

Many of the attackers have been young people, including teenagers, who appear to have been acting on their own.

International efforts to halt the violence have so far failed.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday his country was looking to revive plans for an international conference aimed at bringing about the two-state solution.

Should efforts to breathe life into the moribund peace process fail, France would move to unilaterally recognise Palestine as a state, Fabius said.

Peace talks collapsed in April 2014 and the situation has since deteriorated, with the prospects of fresh dialogue appearing increasingly remote.

Palestinian leaders welcomed the initiative, having long argued for an international process to end the Israeli occupation and bring about the two-state solution.