Palestinian woman killed by Israeli fire in border protests: Gaza ministry

A Palestinian woman protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli forces across the border fence during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on Friday. — AFP

GAZA CITY — A Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli forces during protests along the Gaza border on Friday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said the woman, who was not identified, was shot in the head east of Gaza City.

The Israeli army did not immediately respond to the specific incident but said around 12,000 Palestinians had gathered in multiple sites along the border.

“The rioters have burned tires and hurled blocks, explosive devices and grenades towards (Israeli) troops and at the Gaza Strip security fence,” an army spokeswoman said.

Troops were responding “in accordance with standard operating procedures”.

At least 14 other Palestinians were wounded by gunshots, Al-Qudra said in a statement.

The latest fatality brought to at least 241 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since often violent border protests began in March.

The overwhelming majority have been men, though a female medic died in June.

Most of Palestinians killed were shot in weekly clashes but others have been hit by tank fire or airstrikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period, one by a Palestinian sniper and another during an aborted special forces operation inside Gaza. — AFP