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Israel strikes Gaza after new border protests

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas towards Palestinian protesters during clashes along the Gaza border
— Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

The Israeli military said it hit three Hamas targets in Gaza Friday after new protests along the border sparked clashes in which health officials said 28 Palestinians were wounded.

There have been repeated clashes along the border fence since September 13, with Palestinians protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs at Israeli troops who have responded with tear gas and live bullets.

On September 15, Israel launched its first air strike on Gaza since early July, targeting the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas.

In Friday's strikes, an Israeli drone hit two Hamas positions, while a tank struck a third, the military said.

It said shots had been fired at its troops from near one of the targets, without causing any casualties.

The latest casualties on the Palestinian side take the number wounded in the protests so far to 88, according to health ministry figures.

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls rocks towards Israeli soldiers guarding the Gaza border

One protester has been killed by Israeli fire while five died in an explosion that witnesses said may have been the result of the premature explosion of a hand grenade.

The violence in Gaza follows an Israeli announcement late on Sunday that it would keep the Erez border crossing closed.

Thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza have been prevented from entering Israel by the closure, which an Israeli NGO, Gisha, condemned as "collective punishment".

Israel has issued work permits to some 18,500 Gazans, COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said on Tuesday.