Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian woman as thousands of people demonstrated along the perimeter fence of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said that 43-year-old Amal al-Taramsi was shot in the head of a demonstration site in eastern Gaza City on Friday. .

Al-Taramsi is the third woman to be killed in protests that began in March, when at least 241 Palestinians were killed.

According to al-Qedra, at least 25 other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire on Friday, including two members of the media and an ambulance driver.

An Israeli army spokesman said that about 13,000 Palestinians had taken part in the protests.

"The rioters burned tires and threw blocks, explosive devices and grenades at the (Israeli) troops and at the Gaza Strip security fence," an army spokeswoman said.

The army then struck two positions belonging to the Palestinian group Hamas, which heads Gaza, he added. A Hamas security source said that there was no injury.

According to an AFP journalist, several thousand demonstrators gathered east of Gaza City and the clashes were stronger than those of recent weeks.

The demonstrators tried to destroy a barbed wire fence near the border and Israeli forces fired back with shots and tear gas.

Palestinians have been organizing weekly mass demonstrations for months as part of the "Great March of Return" movement.

The protesters call for the lifting of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on Gaza for more than ten years and the right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel, as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Most Palestinians killed during demonstrations were shot dead in weekly clashes, but others were hit by tank fire or air raids.

Two Israeli soldiers were killed during the same period, one by a Palestinian sniper and the other during an aborted special forces operation in Gaza.

Egyptian mediators were in Gaza this week to meet with Hamas and other faction leaders to confirm the ceasefire that came into effect after an intense exchange between Hamas and Israel in November that took them to the brink. of the war.

Participants said they discussed Cairo's efforts to reconcile Hamas with rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to reduce border tensions.

Al Jazeera and news agencies