7 Gazans, including 2 boys, killed by Israeli fire on border

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian health officials say Israeli troops have killed seven Palestinians, two of them children, and wounded dozens more as Gaza’s Hamas rulers stepped up protests along the border fence.

Friday marked the deadliest day in recent weeks as thousands of Palestinians gathered at five locations along Gaza Strip’s frontier with Israel in response to calls by Hamas, the militant group that has controlled Gaza since seizing it from the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Two of the dead were children, aged 12 and 14, the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that all the dead had gunshot wounds. At least 90 other protesters were wounded by live fire, officials said.

Hamas has led weekly protests since March, but accelerated them in recent weeks to near daily events, pressing for an end to a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas’s violent takeover of Gaza in 2007.

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