GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on developments in Israel and the Palestinian territories (all times local):
The Palestinian Health Ministry says three Palestinians have been killed and 365 hurt in clashes with Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Gaza border.
The ministry says those injured on Friday included protesters hit by live bullets and rubber-coated steel pellets, while others were overcome by tear gas. It did not provide a breakdown.
The clashes erupted in the context of what Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers at promises would be peaceful protests along the Israel-Gaza border.
Thousands of Gaza residents streamed to five tent encampments, each located about several hundred meters from the border. From there, large crowds marched to the fence, and some among them started throwing stones at soldiers who responded with live fire, tear gas and rubber bullets.
The Israeli military said thousands participated in the clashes, and that troops opened fire at the “main instigators.”
Dozens of Palestinians are clashing with Israeli troops on the Gaza border in protests called for by the militant Hamas group that rules the coastal strip.
The Israeli military says Palestinians rolled burning tires and threw stones at Israeli forces on Friday who then retaliated with tear gas and fire at “main instigators.”
The military says it will not tolerate damage to the barrier and that it will hold Hamas responsible.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said four protesters were wounded by gunfire. Hamas has urged Palestinians to gather at the border for mass sit-ins set to last six weeks and culminate with a march to the border.
A Palestinian health official and a witness say a Palestinian farmer was killed by an Israeli tank shell in the Gaza Strip, hours before Palestinians were to stage mass sit-ins along the border with Israel.
Israel’s military said ahead of the protests on Friday that it has doubled its standard troop level along the border, deploying snipers, special forces and paramilitary border police units, which specialize in riot control.
Previous protests near the border fence have turned deadly, with Israeli soldiers firing live bullets at Palestinians burning tires, throwing stones or hurling firebombs.
In Friday’s incident, along with the killed Gazan, another Palestinian man was wounded.