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Tensions heightened along Israel-Gaza border as conflict continues

Israeli tanks on Sunday fired shells at three suspects near the northern part of the border fence after soldiers say they spotted them trying to illegally cross into Israel.

A Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to throw stones during clashes with Israeli security forces following a protest on the Israel-Gaza border east of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on 6 April 2018. Picture: AFP

JERUSALEM - Tensions continue to simmer along the Israel-Gaza border after more than a week of violence that’s left at least 27 Palestinians killed and more than 1,000 wounded.

Israeli tanks on Sunday fired shells at three suspects near the northern part of the border fence after soldiers said they spotted them trying to illegally cross into Israel.

The three were forced back to Gaza.

Israel has halted all imports of tyres into the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Authority.

It comes after groups of Gazans set hundreds of tyres alight on Friday during the second weekend of a six-week-long planned protest along the border fence.

The protesters lit the tyres in order to blur the vision of soldiers lining the border and to stop them from opening fire.

But clashes erupted during the day and nine Palestinians were killed, one of whom was a journalist.

Israel insists that its troops were fired on with Molotov cocktails and explosive devices.

Tensions near the border have risen in recent weeks following calls to protest by the ruling Hamas party.

Their demand is that Israel lifts its siege on Gaza and recognise the Palestinian people’s right of return to what is now Israeli territory.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)