Bloodshed from the upsurge in Middle East violence has spread to Gaza where emergency services say at least six young Palestinians, two of them teenagers, were killed on Friday by Israeli soldiers firing across the border.
Violence flared at a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
According to Israel’s army, a crowd of around 200 people surged towards the border fence in northeast Gaza, throwing rocks and rolling burning tyres toward Israeli troops stationed on the other side.
A military spokeswoman said that soldiers “fired at the main instigators in order to halt their advance and disperse the riot”.
Witnesses said they had been fired at by Israeli snipers in guardposts along the border fence, about 400 metres away from where the Palestinians were protesting.
These are the first Palestinian deaths in clashes in Gaza since the escalation of violence at the start of the month.
At least 80 people were reported injured, some of them in a serious condition.
The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel, describing the recent surge in violence as the beginning of a new uprising, or intifada.
“This is Friday, this is the day of rage… It is a day that will represent the start of a new intifada in all of the land of Palestine,” Haniyeh told followers after Friday prayers.