Israeli fire wounds dozens in Gaza as thousands protest

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza’s Health Ministry says 26 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire during a mass protest on the border with Israel.

Thousands gathered Monday on the beach along the border fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel to demonstrate against Egypt and Israel’s blockade.

The Israeli military says protesters burned tires and threw rocks and explosives at troops on the border, who responded with tear gas and live fire.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group ruling Gaza since 2007, has led weekly protests since March to lift the blockade that has crippled the territory’s economy.

Israeli fire has killed at least 131 Palestinians since protests began. Israel and Hamas came to the brink of full-blown conflict last month, and Hamas is widening protests as Egyptian-mediated ceasefire negotiations have stalled.

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