Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian woman as thousands demonstrated along the Gaza Strip’s perimeter fence, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
The spokesperson for the ministry, Ashraf al-Qedra, said 43-year-old Amal al-Taramsi was shot in the head on Friday at a protest site east of Gaza City.
Al-Taramsi was the third woman to be killed in protests that began in March, during which at least 241 Palestinians have been killed.
At least 25 other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire on Friday, including two members of the media and one paramedic, according to al-Qedra.
An Israeli military spokesman said around 13,000 Palestinians had taken part in the demonstrations.
“The rioters have burned tyres and hurled blocks, explosive devices and grenades towards (Israeli) troops and at the Gaza Strip security fence,” an army spokeswoman said.
An AFP journalist said several thousand protesters gathered east of Gaza City, and confrontations were stronger than in recent weeks.
Protesters tried to destroy a barbed-wire fence near the border and Israeli forces responded with gunfire and tear gas.
Palestinians have staged weekly mass protests for months as part of the Great March of Return movement.
The demonstrators are calling for the lifting of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on Gaza for over a decade and for the right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
Most of the Palestinians killed during the demonstrations were shot in weekly clashes, but others have been hit by Israeli tank fire or air raids.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period, one by a Palestinian sniper and another during an aborted special forces operation in Gaza.
Egyptian mediators were in Gaza this week to meet with officials from Hamas and other factions to shore up a ceasefire that went into effect after an intense exchange between Hamas and Israel in November that brought them to the brink of war.
Participants said they discussed Cairo-led efforts to reconcile Hamas with the rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reduce border tensions.
Al Jazeera and news agencies