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Im not sure but if you turn it manually then it starts no problem, I'd say you have some worn out brushes in your starter and it's getting time to just replace the starter. It will continue to start until it rotates back to the worn out spot until it finally is just completely worn out. Just my opinion. I am not qa mechanic just a middle aged woman who has gone thur a few starters in my life so ..............
If it stopped in a second, the cause is electrical problem. If it stopped more gradually, over several seconds, it is usually fuel related. If you put the key in the ignition and turn it to run, not start, are there lights on the dashboard panel? If you turn the key to the start position, does the engine rotate? Sometimes I have to turn the key to start position several times before it works and the engine rotates.
Wrong air/gas ratio of mixture. Nasty problem, can be dirty nozzles or dirty air filter, almost invisible crack in a hose, loose input manifold or similar, low coolant level, making the auto-choker to behave funny, the choker's sensor, old worn gasket on the carb. I haven't looked at Cherokee, so sorry if there are no carb engines for it.