A week of violence between Israelis and Palestinians spread to the Gaza Strip on Friday, with Israeli soldiers killing six in border clashes and the Palestinian militant group Hamas calling for more unrest.
Hundreds of Palestinians advanced on the Gaza border during a demonstration and threw rocks and rolled burning tires toward soldiers stationed on the other side. The Israeli military said its soldiers opened fire on the "main instigators" to stop their advance.
Palestinian medics said at least 50 people were wounded.
The demonstration was called in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, following a spate of stabbings carried out mostly by Palestinians on Israeli citizens and Israeli reprisals.
The protest came as the Gaza-based leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, urged Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel. He described the recent surge in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank as an uprising, or intifada.
The Gaza border has been mostly quiet since last year's war between Israel and Hamas, which rules the territory, but several rockets have been fired recently at Israel from Gaza.
Violent incidents also surfaced Friday in Israel and the West Bank:
— In Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli teenager, wounding him lightly. Police said the attacker was later arrested.
— In the southern city of Dimona, an Israeli stabbed and wounded four Arabs in an apparent revenge attack.
— In the northern city of Afula, an Israeli-Arab woman was shot and wounded by police who surrounded her at a bus station as she held up what appeared to be a knife, according to video shown on media outlets. Police said she had tried to stab someone at the station.
— In the West Bank, Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators engaged in fresh clashes, with Palestinians throwing rocks and firebombs in the direction of troops, who retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas. One Palestinian was killed and dozens were wounded.
Calls for calm
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned retaliatory attacks on Palestinians while describing the Palestinian unrest as a wave of terrorism. Both he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have called for calm amid indications that the violence is spiraling out of control.
Tensions between the two sides have escalated mainly over the East Jerusalem holy site revered by Muslims as the al-Aqsa Mosque and by Jews as the Temple Mount. The violence, mainly in Jerusalem, has left at least four Israelis and five Palestinians dead and about 10 other Israelis stabbed, and it prompted Netanyahu to cancel a trip to Germany that had been scheduled for this week.
The unrest began about three weeks ago as Palestinians repeatedly barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa Mosque and hurled rocks and firebombs at police.