Four Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza Strip

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The Gaza Health Ministry said that two more Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, have been killed by Israeli army fire on the Gaza border.

The deaths bring to four the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces Friday, the fourth weekly protest in the border area.

Some 445 Palestinians were injured in the day's protests, including 96 who were wounded by Israeli army fire.

Earlier, two Palestinians had been shot dead by Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip. Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, said Ahmad Abu Aqel, 25, died of bullet wounds sustained east of Jabaliya, without providing further details. The Israeli army said it was looking into the incident.

Security sources in Gaza said Abu Aqel was standing near a group of people setting fire to tyres near the border with Israel..

Thousands of Gazans were gathered on Friday at various locations along the border in the blockaded enclave, calling for Palestinian refugees to be able to return to their former lands in what is now Israel.

Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers have called for the mass rally at the border as part of a weeks-long campaign of protests against a decade-old blockade of the territory.

Israel is closely guarding the fence and warns it will not tolerate attempts to damage the fence or breach it and enter its territory.

Several Israeli communities are located near the border and Israel has pledged to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks, and alleges there have been attempts at all three.

It accuses Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of using the protests as cover to carry out violence.