Protesters clashed with Israeli troops on Friday leaving at least six Palestinians dead, including a 15-year-old boy, according to observers.
The Israeli army said around 200 Palestinians reached to within less than 100 metres of the border fence in northeast Gaza, throwing rocks and rolling burning tyres toward Israeli troops stationed on the other side.
According to observers troops responded with rubber-coated steel bullets.
Protesters were throwing stones during a rally in solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and followed a spate of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis and reprisals by Jews against Arabs.
On Friday a Jewish man stabbed and wounded four Arabs in southern Israel on Friday in an apparent reprisal attack. It follows four Israelis being shot or stabbed to death in 10 days in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, and at least a dozen have been wounded by stabbings in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.
The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel, describing the recent surge in violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as the beginning of a new uprising, or “intifada.”
Speaking after Friday prayers he said Friday is a “day of rage” and a day that will “represent the start of a new intifada in all of the land of Palestine.”
He described Palestinians who have attacked Israelis as “heroes”.