Medic killed in fresh Gaza border protests but Israel-Hamas truce holds

The Latest: Israel says it struck Hamas position in Gaza

There was no official confirmation from Israel or Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas but there were no fresh strikes Friday.

Israeli forces have opened fire on Palestinians taking part in a protest in the area between the occupied territories and the besieged Gaza Strip, leaving two people killed.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Israel's military says its forces have struck a Hamas position in Gaza after Palestinians rallying at the Gaza border threw a grenade and explosive devices at troops stationed there.

It was not immediately clear whether the Hamas protests at the border were included in cease-fire negotiations.

The Israeli security cabinet and the Hamas leadership met separately on Thursday, with the truce offer brokered by Egypt and the United Nations on the table. It was at least the third such truce in recent weeks.

But the deal did not seem to address the deeper issues that have prevented the bitter enemies from reaching a longer cease-fire arrangement.

Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel near the southern city of Sderot, Israel August 9, 2018.

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Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007. Almost 15,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom at least 360 are reportedly in critical condition.

Thursday had seen extensive Israeli raids in retaliation for the launching of more than 180 rockets and mortar rounds by Hamas and its allies on Wednesday night.

The protests came after a deal to end all rocket fire into Israel and air strikes on the Gaza Strip appeared to go into effect around midnight (2100 GMT) on Thursday.

Now the protests occur mostly on Fridays, though pro-Palestinian activists have sought to find new ways to draw attention to Israeli oppression and abuses, such as flotillas of activists attempting to break the naval blockade. Power is on for just a few hours a day, unemployment has sky-rocketed and poverty is widening.

Gaza's Health Ministry said Abdullah al-Qutati, 26, was shot and killed and 70 others were wounded by live fire as thousands protested at the border Friday evening.

The European Union on Friday said "the death of the pregnant Palestinian mother and her child in this latest escalation is a tragic loss".

Another medic, Mohammed Suhwail, tells The Associated Press he witnessed the shooting. He said after treating wounded the medic who was killed "began walking toward the (field hospital) but was shot in the back and the bullet exited from his chest".

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