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Israel strikes Gaza again amid new violence at border

A Palestinian demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during clashes along the Gaza border
— Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

The Israeli army launched a drone strike on the Gaza Strip on Saturday after violent protests in which three Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, sources on both sides said.

The early evening strike is one of a series that have come amid near-daily protests at the border by Palestinians after Israel closed the Erez crossing from Gaza.

A drone "struck a military post belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation, adjacent to the area where a violent riot was taking place", the army said.

It added that "shots were fired toward" Israeli soldiers near the border during the strike, without reporting any casualties.

A Palestinian security source told AFP that an "Israeli aircraft had targeted a Hamas surveillance site east of Gaza City", without mentioning any casualties.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian demonstrators faced off against Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, an AFP journalist reported.

Demonstrators set fire to tyres and threw stones at Israeli soldiers.

Three Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Israel has imposed an air, land and sea blockade on the impoverished Palestinian enclave ever since the Islamist group Hamas seized control in 2007.

Thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza have been prevented from entering Israel by the closure of the Erez crossing, 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.

Since September 13, six Palestinians have been killed and nearly 100 wounded during violence at the border, according to figures from the health ministry in Gaza.

Armed conflict sporadically erupts between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.

In May, an exchange of Israeli air strikes and Gaza rocket fire resulted in the deaths of 34 Palestinians and one Israeli.