Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 15:35 UK

Gazan shot dead at blockade demo

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at Hamas protesters

Israeli soldiers have fired at a demonstration near a Gaza border crossing, killing one man and injuring others, local medical workers say.

The demonstration, near the Karni commercial crossing into Israel, was called by Hamas in protest at the continuing blockade of the territory.

An Israeli army spokesman said troops spotted armed men in the crowd, but had no immediate reports of any gunfire.

Earlier, Palestinians carried out a lorry-bomb attack at the Erez crossing.

'Live bullets'

Several thousand Palestinians are reported to have taken part in the demonstration on the Gazan side of the Karni crossing.

Reports say while most stayed a distance from the border, several hundred approached the crossing point, some throwing stones towards Israeli soldiers.

Witnesses say Israeli tanks crossed into Gaza, and soldiers fired live bullets at the protesters.

The Gazan health ministry said 16 people suffered gunshot wounds, in addition to the man shot dead.

The protest followed the earlier incident at the Erez crossing, only a few kilometres away, when Palestinian militants carried out the lorry bomb attack.

Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said they were jointly behind the attack, which they said was in protest at Israel's economic blockade of Gaza, which is crippling the economy.

Islamic Jihad said the truck driver and suicide bomber was a 23-year old man, Ibrahim Nasser, from Jabalya in northern Gaza.

Gunmen driving behind the truck opened fire on the checkpoint, according to witnesses, but they fled when their vehicle overturned. Israeli military radio said the vehicle had been fired on by an Israeli helicopter.

Israel says it will not end the blockade until Gaza militants stop firing rockets across the border into Israel.

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