Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in renewed clashes along the Gaza border Friday, the health ministry in the enclave said.The clashes took place a week before the first anniversary of the weekly protests, when organisers have pledged larger than usual demonstrations.
Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP the two men, aged 18 and 29, were shot in separate incidents along the fractious border.
The teenager was shot in the head east of Gaza City, while the older man was hit in the chest near the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, Qudra told AFP.
He did not name them but said at least 55 other people were shot.
The Israeli army did not comment on the deaths but said "approximately 9,500 rioters and demonstrators" gathered in various locations, "hurling explosive devices, hard objects and rocks" at troops.
Troops were "firing in accordance with standard operating procedures," a spokeswoman said.
At least 257 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since protests began on March 30 2018.
Most have been killed during protests, though others have died in airstrikes and by tank fire.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed.
The often violent protests are demanding Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to former homes now inside Israel.
Israeli officials say that amounts to calling for the Jewish state's destruction, and accuse Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of orchestrating the protests.