One Palestinian was killed and dozens of others were injured Friday in protests at the border between Israel and Gaza, as Hamas leaders met to discuss a truce with Israel.
The Israeli army estimated that 8,000 protesters turned out to demonstrate against Israel's 11-year blockade of Gaza, put in place after Hamas gained political control of the territory's parliament in 2007.
Several exiled Hamas leaders entered Gaza on Thursday to attend a meeting of the group's decision-making political bureau. Visiting leader Hussam Badran told The Associated Press that Hamas leaders hoped to "break the siege on Gaza once and forever."
Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic organization that has been deemed a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, said this was the first time its entire political bureau had gathered in Gaza. The leaders were discussing Egyptian proposals for a truce with Israel and the U.N.-backed reconstruction of Gaza.
The Hamas meetings were expected to continue through Saturday.
Friday's protest casualty was a 25-year-old Palestinian man, according to Gaza health officials. AP said his death put the total number of Palestinians killed in the protests at 156. The weekly demonstrations began in March.