GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP - Gaza health officials say 18 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire at a protest along Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.
Thousands of Palestinians protested Friday, but maintained the monthlong lower intensity of the weekly marches that began in March. Some demonstrators approached the heavily guarded barrier, hurling rocks and firebombs.
Gaza's Hamas rulers said the protests were restrained to assess the extent to which Israel is easing the Isreali-Egyptian blockade imposed on the territory's 2 million residents since 2007.
Recently, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver cash to Hamas' civil servants and fuel to Gaza's power plant, hoping to calm down months of border violence, in which 175 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed.
The Islamic militant Hamas has threated to ratchet up the marches if the blockade is not lifted.