Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire during clashes along the Israel-Gaza border fence Friday, Gaza's Health Ministry said.
According to the ministry, one of those killed was a 12-year-old boy, Shadi Abdel-Al, who was shot in the head east of Jabalya, a city north of Gaza City. The other fatalities were identified as Hani Ramzi Afana and Mohammed Shaqoura, both age 21.
A total of 248 Palestinians were injured during the protests, 120 of whom by live Israeli military fire, the ministry said. Six of the wounded are said to be in serious condition.
The three deaths bring the total number number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during the weekly protests that began in March to 177.
Some 13,000 Palestinians protested in several locations along the border, the Israel Defense Forces said, adding that demonstrators burned tires and hurled stones and firebombs at Israeli forces and the fence.
The IDF said it responded with riot control measures in accordance with the open-fire policy.
An Israeli aircraft and tank struck two Hamas positions in Gaza in response to a number of grenades and explosive devices that were thrown at troops, the military said.
The military added that nine Palestinians illegally breached the border and entered Israel before turning back and crossing into Gaza.
Meanwhile, firefighters worked to put out a blaze near the southern Israeli community of Shokeda that was started by an incendiary balloon from Gaza.
Earlier Friday, Israeli security forces defused an explosive charge located near the border fence, making the second time a charge was been defused this week along the border.
Police also reported that unlit incendiary balloons were found near a playground in the southern city of Kiryat Gat, and several balloons launched from the Strip were located in the Eshkol region.
Two Palestinians were killed over the weekend as a result of Israeli army fire. On Sunday, the military opened fire at a Palestinian who tried to damage the border fence, killing him. A day earlier, a 16-year-old Palestinian succumbed to wounds he had sustained during last Friday's protests along the border.
A video published on social media showed the teenager, identified as Ahmed Masabah Abu Tuyur, hurling a rock toward Israeli soldiers from a great distance and waving at them for about 10 seconds before he was shot. Another Palestinian teenager, 17-year-old Bilal Hafaje, was killed by Israeli fire during the protests last Friday.
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