Israeli troops shot dead six Palestinians in protests in Gaza and a knife-wielding Jewish man wounded four Arabs in southern Israel on Friday in a wave of violence that has fuelled talk of a new uprising, or intifada.
The soldiers shot across the border into Gaza after the Palestinians came too close to the Israeli frontier, throwing stones and rolling burning tires, an army spokeswoman said. Gaza medics said six people were killed and 50 others wounded.
The protests were in solidarity with Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where tensions have surged in 10 days of violence in which four Israelis and at least eight Palestinians have been killed.
Palestinians have been angered by events at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Occupied Jerusalem’s Old City and fear Israel wants to change the status quo at the holy site, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied wanting to change the internationally-recognized status-quo under which Jews are allowed to visit the site but not allowed to perform any prayers.
In Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called the violence in the north “will represent the start of a new intifada in all of the land of Palestine.”