A week of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians spread to the Gaza Strip on Friday, with Israeli troops killing six Palestinians in clashes on the border and Hamas, which controls the besieged territory, calling for more unrest.
A fresh wave of stabbings also hit Israel and the West Bank, including an attack by a Jewish suspect that wounded four Palestinians in the southern Israeli city of Dimona.
Three other stabbing attacks, allegedly by Palestinians, also took place across Israel and the occupied West Bank on Friday.
In the latest developments, a rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel early on Saturday, causing no damages or injuries.
Also on Saturday morning, a Palestinian was shot dead by the Israel army at the Shuafat checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem.
The six Palestinians were shot dead and dozens more injured by Israeli forces as hundreds of them demonstrated along the border in the eastern Gaza Strip.
Among those killed was a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot at another demonstration in the al-Faraheen village, southeast of Gaza City.
The Israeli army claimed there had been “multiple violent attempts to storm the border fence” and “a 1,000 rioters infiltrated the buffer zone”, throwing a “grenade, rocks and rolled burning tyres” at the soldiers”.
“It is very dangerous here,” Ezz Zanoun, a Gaza-based photographer who was at the protest, told Al Jazeera. “They always shoot at the border, but it’s much worse today than usual.
“At first they started shooting with rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades, then they fired live ammunition at us.”
Saeb Erakat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government of “committing a new massacre of Palestinians” in Gaza.
Bus station shooting
Also on Friday, it was reported that a Palestinian woman had been critically wounded after being shot while allegedly trying to stab an Israeli security guard at a bus station in the northern Israeli city of Afula, according to an Israeli police spokesman
However, later video footage said to be of the incident, which Al Jazeera cannot independently verify, showed Israeli police ordering the teenager to drop her knife, while off-camera voices of bystanders shouted at the police to kill her.
The woman was then surrounded and then shot point-blank several times.
The violence comes as clashes have increased in frequency since Israeli security forces began to crack down on Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem last month.
Hamas’ chief in Gaza on Friday called the spreading violence an Intifada, or uprising, and urged further unrest.
In a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City, Ismail Haniya said: “We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the Intifada.”
“It is the only path that will lead to liberation,” he said. “Gaza will fulfil its role in the Jerusalem Intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation.”
In a number of Arab towns in Israel’s north, masked youths blocked roads with burning tyres and hurled fire bombs and stones at police, who arrested eight suspects.
In Washington, the US state department said it regards the stabbings and shootings of Israelis by Palestinians as “acts of terror”, though spokesman John Kirby would not be drawn on whether the attack by the Jewish teenager was also terrorism.