Seven dead and 550 injured in clashes on Gaza border

Palestinians gather at the border fence. Credit: AP

Seven Palestinians have been killed and 550 injured by tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire in clashes with Israeli soldiers, according to Gaza officials.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said six people were killed in clashes at the border fence, while another person was killed by tank fire earlier on Friday.

Hundreds of Palestinians are rallying at the border with Israel in protests called for by Hamas, though the militant group promised the demonstrations would be peaceful.

An Israeli military official urged Gaza residents to stay away from the border and said he held Hamas responsible for any violence there.

Major General Eyal Zamir described the protests as "attempts to carry out terror attacks under the camouflage of riots".

Many Gaza residents reportedly threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with live fire, tear gas and rubber bullets.

The Israeli military said thousands participated in the clashes, and that troops opened fire at the "main instigators".