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Nineteen Palestinians wounded by Israeli fire during overnight protests in Gaza

The Israeli army said one of its soldier was moderately injured by an explosive device during the protests
Protesters set tyres on fire along the fence separating Gaza from Israel, while Israeli forces light flares earlier this month (MEE/Mohammed Asad)

Nineteen Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were wounded on Sunday in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, the Israeli army and Palestinian medical sources have said.

The Israeli army accused Palestinians of carrying out "riots" along the boundary between Gaza and Israel on Sunday evening, adding that one Israeli soldier was moderately injured by an explosive device.

It added that Israeli tanks struck two alleged Hamas military posts in Gaza.

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The Gaza health ministry meanwhile said 19 Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition during overnight protests near the Israeli fence.

The ministry said one of the Palestinians wounded was in a serious condition.

While a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel in November had included a freeze of night-time protests in Gaza, evening demonstrations have returned in the past week, marking a symbolic show of discontent over the deal's failed promises.

Hundreds killed

Palestinians in Gaza have demonstrated as part of the Great March of Return for nearly a year since 30 March, calling for an end to the crippling 11-year Israeli blockade of the small coastal enclave, as well as the implementation of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, who form an overwhelming majority of Gaza's population.

More than 250 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and some 26,000 injured since the demonstrations began, mostly by Israeli fire during protests 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 a botched Israeli special forces operation within the Gaza Strip.

Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished enclave's two million residents.

Egypt also upholds the siege, restricting movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

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