(This Sept. 2 story corrects paragraph eight to add Hamas member)
GAZA/TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian along the Gaza border on Thursday as hundreds set fire to tyres and threw stones, Gaza’s health ministry said.
The Israeli military said that over 1,000 Palestinians had gathered along the fortified frontier, hurling explosives and setting tyres ablaze.
“IDF (Israeli military) troops deployed in the area are using riot dispersal means, including when necessary live fire and .22 Caliber rounds,” the military said in a statement.
Gaza’s health ministry said the man killed had been shot in the abdomen. Five others were wounded by Israeli fire, including a child who is in critical condition, it said.
Sanctioned by Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, Palestinians have staged nightly protests along the border this week to voice anger at an Israeli-led blockade of the territory. Israel cites threats from Hamas for the restrictions.
The protests add to a recent rise in cross-border violence that has tested a fragile truce that ended 11 days of deadly Israel-Hamas fighting in May.
Since the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, Palestinians have sporadically sent balloons carrying incendiary material into Israel, igniting brush fires and drawing Israeli air strikes on Hamas facilities in Gaza.
In the first deaths since the May fighting, a Palestinian boy, an Israeli soldier and a Hamas member succumbed to their injuries in recent days after being shot in cross-border fire during border clashes on Aug. 21.
Egypt and the United Nations have stepped up mediation efforts in recent weeks, helping facilitate Qatari aid to Gaza in a move that was widely seen as bolstering the May 21 truce.
At least 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel were killed in the May conflict, in which Gaza militants fired rockets towards Israeli cities and Israel carried out air strikes across the coastal enclave.
(Reporting by Rami Ayyub and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Alistair Bell)