Updated: 30/03/18 : 14:37:16
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World :: Gaza-Israel border clashes 'leave seven Palestinians dead'

Palestinians in Gaza have marched in their thousands to the Israel border at the start of a six-week-long protest.

The Palestinian health ministry says at least seven people have been killed and 350 wounded, many of them by Israeli gunfire.

The Israeli military reported "rioting" at six places and said it was "firing towards main instigators".

Palestinians have pitched five camps near the border for the protest, dubbed the Great March of Return.

They are demanding that refugees be allowed to return to homes that are now in Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said there were about 17,000 Palestinians in five locations along the border fence.

The IDF said troops were "firing towards the main instigators" to break up rioting that included the burning of tyres and the throwing of Molotov cocktails and stones at the fence.

The IDF said it had "enforced a closed military zone" in the area surrounding Gaza.

Palestinian health officials said that a 16-year-old boy was among the dead.

They said that one person was killed before Friday's protest started. Omar Samour, a 27-year-old farmer, was killed by Israeli tank fire near Khan Yunis.

Hamas, the militant group that dominates the Gaza Strip, has accused Israel of trying to intimidate Palestinians by killing the farmer and by urging them not to participate in the protests.

Addressing protesters, Hamas senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh said "we will not concede a single inch of the land of Palestine".

He said: "There is no alternative to Palestine and no solution except to return."

The Jerusalem Post also reported a rare public appearance by the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yehiya Sinwar.