Protesters gather on Gaza frontier, Israeli fire wounds 77

Smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah

"Today's participation in the marches of return was a challenge to the threats of the Israeli occupation forces".

Since protests began in March, at least 217 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

On Thursday, Israel's Security Cabinet ordered the military to step up its response to the ongoing rallies along the buffer zone.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza claimed 130 Palestinians were wounded in the disturbances.

The marches in eastern Gaza Strip came following marathon visits of Egyptian security intelligence mediators to the coastal enclave to hold talks with Hamas over defusing tension with Israel.

Witnesses told a Ma'an reporter than an Israeli tank heavily opened fire at protesters in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The reports were also unclear as to whether ‎the Egyptian-brokered truce would be a long-term one that ‎could become a wider agreement that would ‎alleviate the economic crisis in Gaza, or whether it would be simply ‎another short-lived lull.‎.

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Netanyahu vows "Israel will act with great force" against Hamas in Gaza Israel's Prime Minister has explicitly warned Hamas that the IDF is edging closer to yet another full-blown military operation against the Gaza strip to put an end to cross-border violence.

Following the Israeli announcement of an intensified crackdown, witnesses at the Friday protests reported the deployment of many armored vehicles.

Israeli fighter jets struck 20 Hamas positions in ‎‎the ‎Gaza Strip after a Grad ‎rocket ‎fired from Gaza hit a house in Beersheba, ‎‎40 kilometers (25 miles) away, ‎causing extensive ‎damage to the building.‎.

Following the targeting of the southern Israeli city on Wednesday, Lieberman ordered the closure of two Gaza border checkpoints and enforcement of a stricter three-nautical-mile limit for Palestinian fishing boats.

While thousands again gathered for the latest protests in northern Gaza, the demonstrators largely remained at least 100 metres (yards) from the border.

Israeli soldiers are positioned on a sand berm as Palestinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a protest along the Israel Gaza border, Israel, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. One Israeli soldier has died.

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