JERUSALEM, July 27 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli aircraft targeted on Friday an observation post in the northern Gaza Strip in response to the shots fired at Israeli soldiers in the area, said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a statement.
On Friday afternoon, approximately 7,000 Palestinians gathered in several locations along the Israel-Gaza border, according to the IDF.
The "rioters" hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at IDF soldiers and the security fence, it noted, adding that the Israeli army identified several suspects who approached the security fence, sabotaged it and then returned to Gaza.
"IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement," said the Israeli army.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said two Palestinians, a 43-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, were shot dead with 246 others injured in Friday's clashes.
Earlier in the day, an IDF aircraft fired toward a squad who was launching arson balloons from northern Gaza into Israeli territory. No casualties were reported.
On Thursday evening, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said that the Israeli army has killed 154 Palestinians and wounded more than 16,000 others in Gaza since March 30, the first day of the ongoing Palestinian "Great March of Return" rally against Israel's 11-year crippling blockade.