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Palestinian teen killed by Israeli fire: Gaza ministry

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Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed on Friday by Israeli fire during border protests and clashes east of Gaza City, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Mohammed al-Jahjuh was "hit in the neck by a bullet (fired) by Israeli soldiers", ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told AFP.

The Israeli army said around 8,000 Palestinians had gathered along the border, burning tyres and launching towards soldiers an incendiary device, which did not reach the troops.

Israel's military said it had opened fire "according to operational procedures" in place, without elaborating.

Forty six Palestinians -- including two journalists and four first aid responders -- were wounded, al-Qodra said.

Palestinians in the Gaza strip have held often violent protests backed by its Islamist rulers Hamas since March 30.

At least 236 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began, mostly by Israeli fire during border clashes but also by air and tank strikes.

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.

Protesters are calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

Israel accuses Hamas of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out infiltrations and attacks, and says the army's actions are necessary to defend the border.

Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since 2008.

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