Muhammed Abu Halima, 22, was shot and killed by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, bringing the death toll in the "Great March of Return" protests to 136 since they began in March.

The mother of a Palestinian, who was killed at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest, reacts over his body in Gaza city, July 6, 2018.
The mother of a Palestinian, who was killed at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest, reacts over his body in Gaza city, July 6, 2018. (Reuters)

A Palestinian taking part in border protests was killed on Friday, Gazan medical officials said, bringing to 136 the number killed in the confrontations that have often drawn a lethal Israeli army response since they began on March 30.

The Gaza Health Ministry said the 22-year-old died of a chest wound. It said Israeli shelling wounded eight people in the same location, east of Gaza City, although it was not immediately clear if the two incidents were linked.

Israel's military denied shelling, saying troops used "riot dispersal means" including gunfire as they confronted 3,000 Palestinians at five points along the border fence, some rolling burning tires and throwing rocks, and that a group, who they alleged were carrying a bomb, had approached the border fence.

"The explosive device went off within the Gaza Strip and injured several Palestinians," it said.

The Gaza Health Ministry said almost 400 people were wounded in Friday's protests, 57 of them from live bullets.

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip, July 6, 2018.
Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip, July 6, 2018. (Reuters)

There have been no serious Israeli casualties during the so-called "Great March of Return," but big tracts of Israeli land have been ravaged by fires set by incendiary kites or helium balloons that Israel alleges were flown in from Gaza.

Israel, facing international condemnation over its tactics, accuses Gaza's Hamas rulers of orchestrating the sometimes violent protests to distract from their governance problems and provide cover for armed cross-border attacks.

Home to 2 million Palestinians, more than half of them war refugees and their descendents, Gaza has suffered severe poverty and infrastructure collapses under a 12-year blockade by Israel and Egypt, which say they aim to curb Hamas threats.

Organisers have described the border protests as spontaneous outpourings of frustration, as has Hamas. Hamas has failed to conclude months of power-sharing talks with Western-backed Palestinian political rivals to ease conditions in Gaza.

Source: Reuters